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Switch On Your HIV Smarts.

Watch Livestreamed 2014 International Treatment as Prevention Workshop

, by San Francisco AIDS Foundation

TASPlogo“Treatment as prevention” is a strategy that recognizes how effective antiretroviral therapy both improves the health and well-being of HIV-positive individuals and helps prevent HIV transmission to their negative partners by reducing viral load. (As viral load drops, less virus is available to be passed on to another person.)

Evidence for the prevention benefits of HIV treatment come from a number of studies, including the PARTNER study: Zero new HIV transmissions occurred through more than 44,000 condomless sex acts within 767 mixed-HIV-status couples in which the HIV-positive partner’s viral load was suppressed, researchers reported at a major conference in March 2014.

Antiretroviral therapy’s double benefit for HIV health and HIV prevention is great news—but it depends on people getting tested and knowing their HIV status, getting linked with appropriate medical care, remaining in ongoing care, being prescribed antiretroviral therapy (and being able to either pay for their meds or get them covered), and being supported in adhering to treatment so their viral load is sufficiently suppressed.

People face obstacles—including HIV stigma, discrimination, and poverty—at each step in this HIV care continuum, also known as the “treatment cascade.” According to national data, of the estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, 82% are aware of their status, two-thirds of these are linked with medical care, 37% are retained in care, 33% have been prescribed HIV meds, and only one quarter have their HIV suppressed to low levels.

How do we turn statistics like these around and help more people get the HIV treatment they want and need to stay well and protect their partners, in the U.S. and around the world?

That question is at the heart of the International Treatment as Prevention Workshop. This major annual meeting brings together researchers, policy makers, community members, and industry representatives to review the latest science and identify top priorities for increasing the impact of treatment as prevention on the global HIV epidemic—and you can watch live as the conference unfolds.

Now in its fourth year, the 2014 workshop starts April 1 in Vancouver, Canada. Key presentations will be livestreamed online, and will also be available after the four-day workshop concludes.

For a preview of what this workshop holds, download the program here. Participants will share and debate new data and knowledge on these and other important efforts:

  • Removing barriers to HIV testing and treatment initiation in stigmatized and marginalized groups.
  • Improving HIV treatment access and outcomes in populations at highest risk for HIV infection and disease progression, including gay and bisexual men, transgender women, people who inject drugs, sex workers, and people who are incarcerated or returning from prison.
  • Strategies for improving access to HIV treatment, such as making meds available at medical visits or community-based organizations rather than strictly through pharmacies.
  • Prioritizing limited resources for greatest impact on HIV treatment and HIV prevention.

Reports, videos, and other materials from previous workshops are also available. Visit the workshop online to learn more.

Also, check out BETA’s “virtual library” of articles, videos, and other resources to understand treatment as prevention—and what it means for you.

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