“Test and Treat” Thrives in New Territory

Deploying antiretrovirals as soon as HIV is found—or “test and treat”—is standard practice in wealthy countries.

When researchers set out to try the method in South Africa and Zambia, they encountered skepticism about whether communities would trust, embrace and stick to early treatment plans.

A decade in the making, their results—to be published soon—turn those assumptions on their head, showing it’s possible to slash HIV incidence by 30% in these communities, Joanne Silberner explains.

An intriguing data discrepancy: In communities where treatment was available immediately, HIV incidence dropped 7%, compared to 30% in communities where treatment was initially delayed.


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