Expanding therapy to all people living with HIV and increasing prevention options could help avert 21 million AIDS-related deaths and 28 million new infections by 2030, the agency said, citing estimates from the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). “All populations and age groups are now eligible for treatment“.
However, antiretroviral therapy, or ART, the combination of medicines for treating HIV, is not yet recommended as a preventive measure.
With these new recommendations, “the number of people eligible for anti-retroviral treatment increases from 28 million to all 37 million people who now live with HIV globally”, the statement said. “In New Zealand the existing CD4 threshold of 500 which limits people’s access to treatment should be removed immediately by Pharmac for people to access medication as soon as they are ready says BP’s Executive Director Mark Fisher”.
The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) welcomed the WHO’s “treat-all” plan, which it believes will prevent many HIV-positive people in poorer countries from falling through the treatment net.
He said research shows it keeps the individual healthier and dramatically reduces the chance of them passing on the virus. Expanding the scope of PrEP use outside the cohort of men who have sex with men (MSM). In 2015, this was upgraded to an A1 recommendation, based on the highest quality evidence (a randomized controlled clinical trial) In 2014, CDC issued first-ever clinical guidance recommending physicians consider advising the use of PrEP for gay and bisexual men, heterosexuals, and injection drug users at substantial risk for HIV infection.
Previous World Health Organization guidelines recommended patients be treated after their viral load, the amount of HIV in the bloodstream, reached a certain level. Last year, only about 15 million people with HIV were being treated. These recommendations fall in line with what is already advised in many countries, including the United States.
In addition to this, the World Health Organization also recommends those that have an increased risk of contracting the virus should seek preventative antiretroviral treatment. Many study authors reported potential conflicts, both financial and non-financial, that were deemed significant; such authors were excluded from the decision-making process where their conflicts impinged on the discussion.