September 8, 2017

Would You Go Off Your HIV Meds for a Cure Study?

This article originally appeared on The Body.

HIV-positive folks, are you ready for some tough questions? Australia’s Monash University and National Association of People Living With HIV Australia have collaborated on this survey asking poz folks if we’d be willing to go off our HIV meds for various periods to take part in various research trials toward finding a cure for HIV.

How long would you be willing to go off your meds? A week? A month? Until your viral load becomes detectable? Until it reaches 1,000? 5,000? Would you be worried about having HIV circulating in your body again? Or about transmitting HIV to a sexual partner while off your meds? Would you be less worried if we provided your sexual partner with free pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)?

Those are the kind of challenging questions the survey asks. And they are just questions, says Monash’s Jillian Lau, M.B.B.S., who co-designed the survey, which isn’t attached to any particular study but aims to answer the question (in her words): “Are there enough people living with HIV willing to pause their treatment (with the possible short and long-term consequences of treatment interruptions still unclear) to be able to actually design these trials with adequate participants?”

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