Prevention studies show mixed success
The rate of new HIV infections dropped by about 30 percent in three studies of intensive HIV interventions, but they did not achieve the larger reductions in incidence that had been expected, The New York Times reports. The studies, conducted in five African countries among almost 1.5 million people, assessed the impact of testing everyone in a community for HIV and providing antiretroviral treatment (ART) to those who test positive. In all three studies, communities were randomly assigned to receive either their country’s standard of care or the “test-and-treat” approach combined with other services, such as testing and treatment for TB and sexually transmitted infections, counseling, condoms, prenatal care, and voluntary medical male circumcision. The standard of care in the countries changed during the studies to expand access to ART, making it difficult to measure the effect of combination HIV prevention (The New York Times, 17 July 2019).