A new HIV treatment protocol has been announced by the World Health Organization. From now on, all patients who are tested positive for HIV should begin treatment right away. The new protocol is in agreement with what the United States and many countries from Europe have recommended.
The protocol represents a big leap in economic risk, considering that currently there are about 37 million people who need to be treated for HIV. The whole programme won’t be cheap. To put an end to AIDS once and for all, costly investments and many drastic changes will have to be made.
The new WHO guidelines suggest that all AIDS sufferers should be put immediately on antiretroviral therapy. This will stop the disease from spreading to other people and it will also improve the general health of the patients.
In the United States, immediate treatment is the new standard when dealing with AIDS. However, the World Health Organization plans to extend that number to as much as nine million people worldwide. The agency could not estimate how many people would benefit from the new prevention guidelines. However, the United Nations anti-AIDS agency made the calculations and they have concluded that nearly 10 million people in the world would be helped by the programme. Many of these new patients would be African women and girls.
Numerous studies have concluded recently that “triple therapy” against AIDS is helping patients live longer and it also reduces the virus circulating in the body to the point that it is almost impossible to infect others. A drug called Truvada can reduce the symptoms so much that it almost offers complete protection against the virus.
The new guidelines stressed the differences between the treatment options that are available in the industrialized nations and those who still live in the developing world. Currently, only 15 million HIV patients are under treatment. That means less than half of the total of 37 million people who are affected by AIDS. The issue is that different countries have their own different policies. Inevitably, treatment will be different depending on how many infected people a country’s health budget can afford treating.
However, the situation was far worse a couple of decades ago. The new guidelines and many other initiatives that are fighting to combat HIV are more popular than ever, the budget that is invested in this type of programme is considerably larger than it ever was too. The World Health Organization is hopeful that the epidemic will stop spreading one day, now that the world’s got all the tools to stop it at hand.
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