BETA is attending and reporting from the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections this week in Seattle from February 23 to 26 -- bringing you the latest news, updates, and research on HIV treatment and prevention.
Impressive results from the Partners PrEP demonstration project were presented at CROI on Tuesday. Jared Baeten, MD, PhD, from the University of Washington, presented findings from an open-label multi-national study showing that PrEP can be used successfully as a "bridge" to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in serodiscordant couples.
Not all people living with HIV are able to, or want, to start ART immediately -- placing their sexual partners at higher risk of transmission. "Staged" use of PrEP can therefore be employed as a bridge -- to protect the HIV-negative partner before (or if, ever) their HIV-positive partner achieves viral suppression.
The demonstration project enrolled 1,013 heterosexual serodiscordant couples in Uganda and Kenya that were classified as "higher risk," with risk factors (such as younger age, reporting condomless sex in the last month, or higher viral loads in the HIV-positive partner) that might make transmission more likely.
The treatment strategy they used -- providing PrEP to the HIV-negative partner only until the HIV-positive partner had been on ART for six months, permitting time to achieve viral suppression -- proved successful.
This excerpt was cross-posted with the permission of BETAblog.org. Read the full article.