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Africa Centre major scientific achievements! Two Science papers showing that antiretroviral therapy increases life expectance and reduces transmission

Science - 2013-02-22

Africa Centre, South Africa, 22 February 2013 - Today, colleagues from the Wellcome Trust Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies have published two breakthrough scientific manuscripts at Science.

The first paper by Prof. Frank Tanser is entitled: 'High Coverage of ART Associated with Decline in Risk of HIV Acquisition in Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa', and the other paper by Prof. Till Barnighausen entitled: 'Increases in Adult Life Expectancy in Rural South Africa: Valuing the Scale-Up of HIV Treatment'.

Both papers focus on the impact of ART on our population; the first one shows for the first time in real-life that when 30% or so of all HIV infected adults in a community are on HIV treatment the incidence in that community substantially and significantly decreases. The second paper summarises the impact of ART on mortality in terms of the considerable increase in life expectancy.

The director of the Africa Centre - Prof Marie-Louise Newell - praised the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health and the National Department of Health (NDoH) for their continued effort in getting large numbers of patients onto ART, at all primary health care clinics in the area. 'The Africa Centre is pleased and honoured to have been able to support the Department of Health in this remarkable effort', she said.

These papers paint a very successful history of the expansion of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in South Africa. Both papers contain good news and are a credit to the SA DOH in their effort and commitment to roll-out ART to many infected people.

The Southern African Treatment Resistance Network (SATuRN) congratulates our colleagues and friends at the Africa Centre for these great achievements and success histories. SATuRN, more than ever, is committed to work with the Africa Centre and NDoH to increase drug resistance testing in South Africa. Clinical management of patients with drug resistance failing ART means that quality of life is extended together with longevity. It also means that virus can be suppressed, contributing to reducing HIV transmission.

For more information, please access the press releases:

Press release I: High Coverage of ART associated with decline in risk of HIV acquisition in rural

Press release II: Increases in adult life expectancy in rural South Africa: valuing the scale-up of HIV treatment

Manuscripts

'High Coverage of ART Associated with Decline in Risk of HIV Acquisition in Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa'

'Increases in Adult Life Expectancy in Rural South Africa: Valuing the Scale-Up of HIV Treatment'

Links:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6122.cover-expansion

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