The Global Fund welcomes the early release of new WHO guidelines for HIV treatment. The new guidelines, which will be released in full later this year, call for antiretroviral treatment to be given as soon as a person is diagnosed with HIV. Recent studies have shown that treating people with HIV as soon as possible keeps people healthier longer, and reduces the risk of passing the virus on to others.
The guidelines also recommend offering pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to people at "significant" risk to help prevent them from contracting HIV. PrEP could be a useful tool to complement existing prevention measures for marginalized and at-risk groups such as adolescent girls and young women, men who have sex with men, sex workers and others. PrEP should be used in conjunction with existing preventative and treatment measures to fight the disease, including HIV testing, counseling and care, and access to condoms and safe injection equipment.
"The two recommendations are critically important and very timely to moving us towards the fast track treatment and prevention goals and to achieve the end of the HIV epidemic by 2030 as called for by the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals," said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund.