Scientific Breakthrough of 2011: A Study on HIV Prevention

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These past few weeks, the fight against the growing problem on HIV has been intensified by many countries across the globe. Further campaigns and information drives which directly relay information and knowledge about HIV prevention has been made extensive among the general public in order to protect themselves and prevent the increasing numbers of individuals getting infected by HIV. Also, increase of funding among other countries has taken into account in order to aid certain activities which involve early detection and immediate intervention of those individuals who are having the HIV infection. But, the fight against the said disease has been established for so long, and not specific cure or strategy has been developed in order to fully protect the public against the massive spread of the virus.

However, a new breakthrough of the year has been named after discovering a mechanism on how to prevent the spread of the virus causing HIV infection, and this was through the new study led by Myron S. Cohen, M.D. of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which is known as the HIV Prevention Trials Network 052 study.

The findings of the study which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine involved the analysis and evaluation of the use of anti-retroviral drugs as a preventing mechanism for the spread of the virus which causes HIV infection.

In the study, the researchers have analyzed the effects of using anti-retro viral drugs as an early treatment on the chance of spreading the disease. The study participants included couples in which one of the couples are actually having the HIV infection, while the other couple do not have the disease. Researchers were trying to discover if early treatment using anti-retroviral drugs among these couples can actually lead to prevention of virus transmission.

In the analysis of data, researchers found out that HIV transmission has been actually reduced by up to about 96 per cent upon the use of anti-retroviral drugs as an early treatment.

Moreover, for these conclusions and major findings, the journal Science, the flagship publication of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, named the HIV Prevention Trials Network 052 study as the breakthrough discovery of the year. The study was a part of the top ten (10) scientific breakthroughs of the year 2011 which was published online.





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