Last week was a turning point in the worldwide battle against HIV/AIDS. In a battle where positive developments are often hard to come by, three separate news stories shined a ray of hope in an otherwise very dismal struggle.
1.) In many ways, the most important development to come out last week was the release of a study that found that the antiretroviral treatment Truvada taken as a pre-exposure prophylaxis among sex who have sex with men can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by 44%. In addition, the study found that among those that stuck most rigidly to the daily drug regimen, there was a 73% lower risk of infection (Voice of America, 11/23)
2.) The United Nations' AIDS agency also released a report last week finding that there has been a 20% decrease in the new HIV infections over the last decade. According to the agency, there are 33.3 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide with 7,000 new infections each day (AP/TMCnet World News, 11/28).
3.) The Pope announced that it is a lesser evil to use a condom than to infect a partner with HIV, a major development in the Catholic Churches position on the use of condoms (Bangkok Post, 11/21).