Our Proposal to End
Test & Treat to End AIDS believes there is
a way out of the seemingly endless and costly spiral of infection
and death from HIV/AIDS.
The test-and-treat strategy — also known
as treatment as prevention — involves regular, voluntary HIV
testing of a population followed by immediate voluntary antiretroviral
therapy for anyone who tests positive, regardless of their CD4 count or viral load.
Immediate treatment is the key because it reduces
the amount of virus in the body — called the viral load —
to the level where the person cannot pass on the virus to others,
thus breaking the chain of transmission.
Throughout its existence, TTEA has advocated for the funding of several large-scale, operational proof-of-concept research studies to determine how best test-and-treat can be scaled up in resource-constrained settings disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.
In November 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged funding
for such studies in four sub-Saharan countries. Funds came
from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR,
which was launched by President George W. Bush and continued by
President Barack Obama.
TTEA continues to monitor progress, domestically and globally, of these large-scale research studies of test-and-treat and the promotion of other prevention efforts. We see these studies as critical to demonstrating how best test-and-treat can:
- Significantly reduce HIV transmission rates
at both the individual
and population levels
- Significantly reduce pandemic costs
- Save lives
- Increase employment rates by keeping people healthy
- Increase government tax revenues by keeping people healthily employed
- Provide donors an exit strategy from continually
programs and research
TTEA also supports existing preventive measures
such as male circumcision and the use of condoms or microbicides.
Test-and-treat, along with these other measures,
could potentially provide an exit strategy to current donors. Instead
of asking the United States and many other empathetic countries
and foundations to continue pouring billions upon billions into
a never-ending pandemic, we could begin to see the
end of HIV/AIDS.