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HIV treatment as prevention and HPTN 052

Cohen, Myron S.a; McCauley, Marybethb; Gamble, Theresa R.c

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: March 2012 - Volume 7 - Issue 2 - p 99–105
doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32834f5cf2
TEST AND TREAT: Edited by Ann Duerr

Purpose of review This review summarizes the development and implementation of a large clinical trial, HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052, whose initial results were recently presented and published.

Recent findings A randomized, clinical trial demonstrated that antiretroviral therapy reduces the sexual transmission of HIV in HIV-serodiscordant couples by more than 96%. The logistical challenges in preparing for and conducting such a trial were considerable.

Summary HPTN 052 required many years of preparation, considerable collaboration between National Institute of Health and six pharmaceutical companies, and careful ongoing consideration of a large number of ethical issues. HPTN 052 revealed the magnitude of benefit when using antiretroviral therapy to prevent the transmission of HIV, and served as proof of a concept. The results have proven central to the development of new global HIV-prevention efforts.

aDivision of Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

bScience Facilitation, Health & Development Sciences, FHI 360, Arlington, Virginia, USA

cScience Facilitation, Health & Development Sciences, FHI 360, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence to Myron S. Cohen, MD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Health, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB# 7030, 130 Mason Farm Road, 2nd Floor, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7030, USA. Tel: +1 919 966 2536; fax: +1 919 966 6714; e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.