May 19, 2011
People with the aids virus who begin drug therapy immediately dramatically cut the risk of infecting their sexual partners.
U.S. Researchers studied more than 1,700 couples from nine countries -- most were heterosexual.
Couples were randomly assigned to two groups -- one had the HIV-infected partner immediately begin antiretroviral drugs.
The other had the infected person start drug therapy after their immune system began to weaken..
An independent panel analyzed the data.
They found 28 new AIDS cases where the uninfected partner came down with a virus genetically linked to their partner.
Only one of these cases occurred among couples where the partner started taking the drugs right away .
The findings were so convincing the trial, which was scheduled to end in 2015, was stopped.
Researchers are now offering treatment to all HIV positive partners in the study and all couples will be followed through the end of the the trial period.