Thursday, October 14, 2010

Testing African Couples for HIV is Cost-effective Prevention Strategy

From Emory University

As researchers and policy makers work toward an effective HIV vaccine in a constrained global economy, cost-effective prevention strategies such as Couples Voluntary Counseling and Testing (CVCT) must take a larger role in efforts to decrease the rates of HIV/AIDS in Africa, says Emory University HIV/AIDS vaccine researcher Susan Allen, MD, MPH. Allen presented her research on October 1 at the AIDS Vaccine 2010 international conference in Atlanta, sponsored by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise and locally hosted by the Emory Center for AIDS Research. Allen, who has worked to combat the AIDS epidemic in Africa for more than 25 years, highlighted the value of CVCT and other cost-effective HIV prevention strategies.

"The majority of new HIV infections are acquired from a spouse, and couples are the largest HIV risk group in Africa," says Allen, a professor of phathology and laboratory medicine in the Emory School of Medicine and adjunct faculty member in the Rollins School of Public Health. "By using CVCT to identify those people who do not share the same HIV status as their spouse or partner, we're in a better place to move forward efficiently and effectively once a vaccine does become available."

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