The Treatment as Prevention (TasP) strategy pioneered by the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE ) has been adopted by Brazil as the country’s national HIV/AIDS policy.
In October, Brazil joined France as the second country that month to announce plans to adopt TasP, which involves widespread HIV testing and the immediate offer of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to people testing positive for HIV. Treatment has been shown to virtually eliminate progression of the disease to AIDS and premature death, and also stops transmission of the virus.
The strategy was introduced by the BC-CfE in 2006, and endorsed by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in 2010. China became the first nation to embrace the strategy in 2011, and was identified by the US as a key strategy to achieve an AIDS-free generation in 2012. In July 2013, the World Health Organization incorporated TasP in their new Global HIV Treatment Guidelines.
BC was the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement TasP, coinciding with a simultaneous increase in harm reduction efforts including needle distribution, opioid substitution treatment, and supervised injection services. Since 1995 BC has seen HIV-related morbidity and mortality decline by more than 90%. Over the same time period, the number of new HIV diagnoses fell from more than 800 per year in 1995 to 238 in 2012. BC remains the only province in Canada to implement TasP and demonstrate a consistent decline in new cases of HIV.
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Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
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