AIDS 2010 studies, releases: Treating HIV-positive patients with ARVs drove down number of new HIV infections, study finds

March 20, 2017

AFP reports on two studies released by the World Bank "linking cash payments to Malawian and Tanzanian youths with 'significantly lower' rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections." The first study looked at a program that rewarded young Malawian girls with cash for regular school attendance (Ogle, 7/18).  According to the World Bank, the young women who received up to $15 per month over 18 months had a "60% lower prevalence" of HIV compared with a control group. 

In the second study adults in Tanzania who practiced safe sex, measured by testing negative "for half a dozen curable sexually-transmitted diseases," received cash payments of "up to $60 per person over 12 months." Participants also "received free treatment, such as antibiotics and counseling." Among the 2,399 enrollees "9% of participants eligible for the $60 award tested positive for the infections. By comparison, the rate was 12% for a control group who didn't receive payments" (7/18).

Berk Ozler, a senior economist with the Bank told AFP that "the findings suggest that 'empowering girls financially can lead to reduced risk - not just by reducing their sexual activity or practicing safer sex, but also by enabling them to choose partners who are less likely to be infected with HIV in the first place'" (7/19). The Financial Times adds, "new applications of so-called conditional cash transfers already used to change human behavior in line with different social policies, signal a potential new approach to preventing the spread of HIV" (Jack, 7/19).

Glaxo/Pfizer Venture To Open AIDS Treatment Portfolios To Generic Manufacturers In Developing World

"ViiV Healthcare, a joint venture between GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer to develop and market their AIDS treatment portfolios, will open its entire drug lineup to generic manufacturers in the world's poorest countries," the Triangle Business Journal reports (Gallagher, 7/16).

"To address the evolving treatment needs in [the poorest] countries ?? ViiV Healthcare is expanding the number of countries that this relates to, to include all least developed countries, all low income countries and all of sub-Saharan Africa," the company said in a press release on Friday that lists the 69 countries that will ViiV's drug lineup (7/16).

The move will allow companies to "obtain royalty-free voluntary licenses for all current ViiV products, as well as products still in development," Reuters writes. The decision will help reduce the cost of second-line HIV treatment, which becomes necessary as increasing numbers of people develop resistance to first-line drugs, Dominique Limet, the company's CEO said. "As more people have access to treatment, there is an increased need for second- and third-line treatment options once initial treatment failure occurs," he said (7/16).

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