Prof. Linda-Gail Bekker, the President of the International AIDS Society (IAS), says new HIV prevention options are being unveiled by current research.
She said this on Tuesday at the ongoing 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris, France
“The research released today is helping to discover new HIV prevention options and also providing a deeper understanding of how to use the tools we already have.
“We’re in an era of unprecedented progress in HIV prevention science,” the professor of medicine said.
five HIV prevention studies were selected from more than 1,700 scientific abstracts presented at the conference.
A researcher, Catherine Oldenburg, in her study, held that knowledge of one’s status and not HIV test was the first step to help stop the spread of the virus.
Oldenburg, who is of the University of California, San Francisco, said results showed that direct provision of HIV self-tests via peer educators led to high HIV testing uptake and rapid linkage to care.
She shared the results of a randomised controlled trial in Zambia suggesting that HIV self-testing should be a core element of a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy for female sex workers.
“ The trial included 965 female sex workers who were randomised into one of three groups.
“The first group received oral HIV self-tests directly from a peer educator; the second group received a coupon to get a self-test from a clinic or pharmacy and the third group received a referral to standard HIV testing,’’ she said.