Strategy for an AIDS-Free Generation
Recent scientific advances have proven that existing HIV prevention tools can dramatically drive down the rate of new infections and virtually eliminate them in babies and children.
Progress has been particularly rapid in the last two years, due to recent scientific breakthroughs as well as accelerated targets set by President Obama, who again championed the achievable goal of an AIDS-free generation in his 2013 State of the Union address. The Administration’s Blueprint for creating an AIDS-free generation outlines specific steps that PEPFAR is taking to uphold America’s commitment to fight this deadly disease.
As a principal implementing agency for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC is helping to implement PEPFAR’s “combination prevention” strategy, which consists of three key HIV prevention tools:
- Antiretroviral treatment of HIV-positive persons
- Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
- Voluntary medical male circumcision
When used with HIV testing and counseling, condoms, and other evidence-based and appropriately targeted prevention activities, these proven tools put us on a plausible path for eliminating new HIV infections.
Antiretroviral Treatment of HIV-Positive Persons
Treatment of HIV-positive people with antiretroviral drugs saves lives. In addition, recent science has shown that treatment is also highly effective in preventing HIV transmission to others. The research showed that treatment reduced the risk of HIV transmission from an HIV-positive woman to an uninfected male partner by up to 96%, a success rate similar to that of a vaccine.
Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV
An HIV-positive mother is at risk of transmitting the HIV virus to her child during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or breastfeeding. In 2012, approximately 260,000 children around the world were infected with HIV. Identifying and treating HIV-positive pregnant women with antiretroviral drugs is very effective in eliminating new infant infections.
Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision
Medical male circumcision is a one-time intervention with a lifelong benefit. This low-cost procedure reduces the risk that women with HIV will transmit the HIV virus to HIV-negative men by more than 60%. HIV-negative women also benefit from the lower rate of infections among men.