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HIV testing, treatment may help curb the spread of the disease

Category: HIV

Providing antiretroviral drugs to individuals infected with HIV as well as making HIV testing more widely available may have a positive impact on reducing the rates of infection in the U.S. and throughout the rest of the world, according to a new study published in the journal, The Lancet.

Researchers from the British Columbia Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in Vancouver tested the idea that providing strong medications to individuals who have recently tested positive for HIV could reduce the rates of new infections.

They found that, when this approach was adopted in the city of Vancouver, the number of new cases fell dramatically within a short span of time.

"While waiting for an effective vaccine, experiences such as [the study in British Columbia] should be strongly considered by clinicians, national and international agencies, policy makers, and all parties involved in the development of treatment guidelines," Franco Maggiolo wrote in an accompanying editorial.

Currently, there are more than 1 million individuals in the U.S. living with the disease, and many of them are unaware of their infection because they have not received an HIV test, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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