Dutch Study Shows That Frequent Testing and Antiretroviral Therapy May Greatly Decrease New MSM Infections

As study by Dutch researchers was published in the Science Translational Medicine on January 6th.The researchers studied (MSM) who were newly infected with HIV found that more frequent testing followed by treatment with available antiretroviral therapy (ART) may cut infections by 66%.

In most countries new diagnoses among MSM remained relatively stable even though care and prevention services have been substantially scaled up in the past 20 years and they wanted to know why.

Researchers used the viral sequencing from Europe’s nationwide cohort and estimated the probable source of the HIV transmission to 617 MSM in the Netherlands. Findings showed the following:

  • 71% transmission were from undiagnosed men
  • 22% from men diagnosed but not yet treated
  • 6% from men who had started antiretroviral treatment
  • 1% from men with no linkage to care within the past 18 months

The study concluded that the lack of decline in new HIV infections was not due to ineffective provision of antiretroviral therapy or inadequate care.

Getting MSM tested regularly, using PrEP (pre exposure prophylaxis) for individuals at high risk and getting people on antiretroviral therapy as soon as they test positive may greatly reduce new MSM infections not only in Europe but around the world

 

References:

Sci Transl Med. Published online January 6, 2016.