As yet another World AIDS Day dawns, and States move towards the “Zero new infections, and deaths” goal.
- The debate now centres around the possibility of early initiation of antiretroviral therapy for all people with HIV.
- New evidence has emerged to prompt early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for better outcomes among people with HIV infection.
- Currently, anyone who has a CD4 cell count of 350, and consequently, a very high viral load, is eligible for free ARTs.
- Studies have shown initiating on ART irrespective of CD4 cell count have resulted in reduction in HIV transmission, and prevention of infections like TB and cancers.
CD4 cells are a type of white blood cell that fights infection