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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
GLOBAL: WHO Issues New HIV Guidelines for Couples
Joe DeCapua
April 20, 2012
Voice of America News (04.19.12) - Friday, April 20, 2012

The World Health Organization now recommends providing antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to HIV-positive partners in serodiscordant couples, even if their immune system is still strong, given research showing that such treatment can prevent transmission.

The new guidelines were lauded by Dr. Bernhard Schwartlander, the director of the evidence, strategy, and results department at UNAIDS. He said the recommendations "respond to the scientific evidence that has been accumulated over the past year" showing that when an infected partner is treated with ARVs, "then the chance that the person would pass on the virus to a partner is dramatically reduced." "About half of all people living with HIV who live in a regular partnership have a partner who's not of the same status - a partner who is HIV-negative, both for men and for women," said Schwartlander.

Doctors Without Borders also praised WHO's announcement, calling the guidelines a major advance in halting the global epidemic.