News FocusHIV Prevention

HALTING HIV/AIDS Epidemics

Science  09 Dec 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6061, pp. 1338-1340
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6061.1338

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Summary

Over the past 2 years, four large-scale studies of interventions to prevent HIV have worked, and for the first time, the goal of ending AIDS epidemics in some locales—and, in time, the world—seems like a possibility, provided, of course, that there's political will and money. But there's a vast difference between a study having success and thwarting HIV in the real world. The impact of proven interventions might vary from place to place because the epidemics have different features. Daunting funding issues face any campaign to ramp up HIV prevention. And it's a challenge to figure out how best to combine the available interventions. Many mathematical modelers and HIV/AIDS researchers have begun to explore and debate a variety of strategies. Several large clinical trials under way or in the works should reveal which new prevention strategies best bring down incidence in a population versus simply protecting an individual.