International Treatment as Prevention Workshop: the latest research and policy progress in the field

July 2, 2013

At the third HIV Treatment as Prevention Workshop last April, academics, policy makers, industry and community representatives gathered to review and discuss the latest research and policy progress in the field. Updates during the Workshop from ongoing studies contributed to the evidence showing the effectiveness of early HIV treatment.

At the Workshop, the proposed 2013 World Health Organisation (WHO) Treatment Guidelines –officially launched on 30th June – were presented. It was discussed that community and peer-driven approaches are critical to applying the new HIV treatment guidelines effectively. Interventions need to occur within a broad variety of contexts and based on health care capacity, available resources, logistics, and access to therapy. Community engagement and empowerment are critical to implementing treatment as prevention.

The increase in evidence pointing to the individual and societal benefits of treatment as prevention strongly suggests the strategy has the potential to constrain other high-burden infectious diseases. An integrative approach to TB and HIV could be both life- and cost-saving.

Most critically, in order to successfully move forward on treatment as prevention, it is imperative to mobilize political will and funds to expand testing, treatment, and support. Although high up-front costs may be initially challenging, the long-term cost-effectiveness of the treatment as prevention strategy is indisputable.

The final Workshop report is now available, please find it here.