July 21, 2015
In 1996 the global HIV community gathered in Vancouver to share evidence that triple-combination antiretroviral treatment held the power to stem the tide of deaths from AIDS. The treatment era had begun. Today, as we gather again in Vancouver, we recognize a new transformative moment in the fight to end AIDS.
Building on knowledge accumulated over the last decade, the START trial has released its first results, showing that rather than waiting for immune deterioration, immediate antiretroviral (ARV) treatment more than doubles an individual’s prospects of staying healthy and surviving. Offering immediate ARV access is further supported by studies showing antiretrovirals can prevent transmission from people living with HIV to their negative partners. And data shows ARVs can effectively protect people at risk of infection through prophylactic use.
Medical evidence is clear: All people living with HIV must have access to antiretroviral treatment upon diagnosis. Barriers to access in law, policy, and bias must be confronted and dismantled. And as part of a combination prevention effort, PrEP must be made available to protect those at high risk of acquiring HIV. The strategic use of ARVs – through treatment and other preventive uses – can save countless millions of lives and move us vastly closer to our goal of ending the epidemic. A new era of opportunity against this epidemic has dawned, and we must seize it…
Read the full Consensus statement and add your signature here.