HIV treatment as prevention and HPTN 052

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review summarizes the development and implementation of a large clinical trial, HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052, whose initial results were recently presented and published.

Recent findings

A randomized, clinical trial demonstrated that antiretroviral therapy reduces the sexual transmission of HIV in HIV-serodiscordant couples by more than 96%. The logistical challenges in preparing for and conducting such a trial were considerable.

Summary

HPTN 052 required many years of preparation, considerable collaboration between National Institute of Health and six pharmaceutical companies, and careful ongoing consideration of a large number of ethical issues. HPTN 052 revealed the magnitude of benefit when using antiretroviral therapy to prevent the transmission of HIV, and served as proof of a concept. The results have proven central to the development of new global HIV-prevention efforts.

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