The 2015 Controlling the HIV Epidemic with Antiretrovirals summit, organized by the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), and held October 1-2, 2015, in Paris, explored the ways in which we can improve population health in heavily HIV-affected regions within the next five years, setting the stage for ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
The rationale for this annual summit was more compelling than ever in 2015, given the culmination of several important studies over the preceding year. The START study convincingly demonstrated that the initiation of antiretroviral (ART) as soon as patients are diagnosed with HIV and understanding the importance of daily adherence results in decreased HIV morbidity and mortality. Moreover, the data from START and TEMPRANO offer hope that early ART initiation can significantly decrease the global TB syndemic.
Additionally, with the final report from the HPTN 052, we now definitively know that early ART initiation is among the most effective HIV prevention interventions, reducing transmission by more than 90% after close to 10,000 person years of follow-up. The beneficial findings associated with early ART are also complemented by additional reports that the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can effectively decrease HIV acquisition among high-risk populations. A pragmatic study, PROUD, conducted in British genitourinary medicine clinics, demonstrated that the integration of PrEP within the context of sexual health primary care provision can be highly effective, approaching 90% protection in a very real-world setting.
The challenge moving forward is how best to translate these exciting research findings into public health policy. We have the tools to turn the tide on this persistent global pandemic. The question is whether we have the courage of our convictions, the political will, and the organization to successfully implement these findings into clinical practice.
The following outline includes highlights from the summit with links to video content. Both reading the summaries and viewing the videos are integral parts of the educational activity.