CDC (2013) defines AIDS as a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It impairs the immune system and interferes with the body's ability to fight the organisms that cause disease. This virus is sexually transmitted. It can also spread in possible ways such as blood transfusion of infected blood especially during illicit intravenous drug use, mother to child during pregnancy, unsafe deliveries or breast feeding, sharing of unsterilized injections or blades. It can take years before HIV weakens the body‘s immune system for one to finally acquire AIDS. There is no cure proven for HIV/AIDS, but is the disease is preventable and there are medications that can dramatically slow the progression of the disease. These drugs have reduced AIDs deaths in many developed countries. Although HIV continues to decimate populations in Africa, Haiti and parts of Asia, these drugs have been cost effective in prolonging the lives of the people with suppressed or compromised immune systems (CDC, 2013).
Today, HIV/AIDS represent a leading threat to human health and development. This disease is one the world’s biggest killers, causing an estimated 35 million of people living with HIV at the end of 2012. In the same year 9.7 million people had access to antiretroviral therapy and close to 26 million were eligible for antiretroviral therapy, under WHO 2013 consolidated ARV guideline (WHO, 2013). HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 36 million lives so far. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region, with nearly 1 in every 20 adults living with HIV. About 69% of all people living with HIV are living in this region (WHO, 2013).
The concept of “Treatment for Prevention” is consistent with international recommendations and it has been adopted by many countries as a public health approach to HIV treatment and scale-up. Reducing HIV/AIDS burden requires a balanced use of prevention and treatment of manifest disease, as has been done successfully. Over the past decades, the scaling-up of treatment programmes has significantly proved to reduce HIV/AIDS related-morbidity and mortality in many countries.
The main objective of this essay is to give support to the statement “the HIV/AIDS control concept of Treatment for Prevention is already supported by evidence from many studies.” The discussion to support this argument is based on the evidences gathered from several studies undertaken from different countries.
Current evidence indicates that the HIV/AIDS concept of treatment is becoming more and more available in developing countries. Enormous advances in HIV/AIDS treatment regimens have fundamentally altered the natural history of the disease and sharply reduced HIV-related morbidity and mortality in countries where such treatments are accessible (Bertozzi, S et al.; 2006).Some of the relevant studies that supports the concept are as follows: