While we will have to wait until January 15th to learn the actual winner, we already know who won the 2011 Science “Breakthrough of the Year”. This title went to a team of researchers, who demonstrated that HIV treatment with antiretroviral drugs can actually prevent transmission of the virus from an infected person to his or her uninfected partner.
Their clinical research showed that early initiation of antiretroviral therapy in people infected with HIV reduces transmission of the virus to their partners by 96%. The findings end a longstanding debate over whether treatment of HIV-infected individuals can provide a double benefit by treating the virus in individual patients while simultaneously cutting transmission rates.
“It’s wonderful for this trial to be recognized,” says Susan H. Eshleman, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and head of the HIV Prevention Trials Network, which supported the trial. “This research moves the field of HIV prevention science forward, leading us on a path toward curbing the HIV epidemic. It provides a new direction for HIV prevention research and is beginning to shape public health policy.”
SRxA’s Word on Health is delighted to bring you such great news to start the New Year. If you have any health related stories you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you.