TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Doctors Without Borders praises WHO for new HIV antiretroviral 'treat all' stance

The World Health Organization recently established new guidelines recommending that all patients testing positive for HIV be offered immediate antiretroviral treatment, a move that was cheered by international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

MSF officials said, however, that making the recommendation a reality would depend on the support of donors and governments.

“Test and treat can turn the tide on HIV, but to work as a tool to control the epidemic, it will require drastic changes and greatly increased investment," Dr. Tom Ellman, director of MSF's South African Medical Unit, said.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria will host a replenishment conference in 2016, which will be the first indication of donors’ commitment to using the best science to treat all people living with HIV.

"In order to reach as many people as possible, as soon as possible, simplified models of care and self-management strategies are needed that allow people to take more control over their own treatment and care,” Dr. Marc Biot, MSF’s operational coordinator for HIV, said.

With its "treat-all" recommendation, WHO removes all limitations on eligibility for antiretroviral therapy (ART) among people living with HIV. The recommendation makes all age groups and populations eligible for treatment.

Expanding access to HIV treatment is the crux of a new set of goals for WHO for 2020 -- with the aim being to stem the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Organizations in this story

Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors Without Borders 333 7th Ave New York, NY 10001

World Health Organization 20 Avenue Appia Geneva, GE 01202

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