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The Big Idea

An AIDS-free generation?

The Big IdeaAll adults and adolescents should be tested at least once for HIV, with repeated testing for those at increased risk, recommends an interdisciplinary panel of experts assembled by the International Antiviral Society-USA (IAS-USA).

The experts created a list of best practices for doctors, with the aim of achieving an AIDS-free generation, which was based on a review of 17 years of data and was published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association. (About 2.3 million new HIV infections occurred worldwide in 2012, 50,000 in the US). Other recommendations for doctors: be alert to the possibility of HIV infection and if suspected, pursue diagnostic testing immediately; start HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy right away; give antiviral pre-exposure prophylaxis and counseling on risk reduction to uninfected patients at high risk; provide harm reduction services (like needle exchanges and drug treatment programs) to patients who inject drugs; provide post-exposure prophylaxis to patients exposed to HIV from a known infected source. Emory’s Carlos del Rio, professor of medicine and chair of global health, was co-chair of the IAS-USA panel.

"We are at a time where scientific advances in HIV interventions and treatments could stop HIV transmission," says del Rio, who co-directs the Emory Center for AIDS Research. "The success of both biomedical and behavioral HIV prevention measures depends on clinicians’ abilities and willingness to implement them." 

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