There are more and more means to properly treat an HIV infection, but now there is also a way to keep you protected from infected person. Christiana Nöstlinger, affiliated with the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, is researching with her team how people can be guided towards the best possible use of this preventive agent, and for that research receives support from the Fund for scientific research against AIDS, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation.
The number of new HIV infections in our country is falling year after year. Although according to the latest figure it is still about 900 people a year, it is one of the many signals that the medical world is increasingly controlling HIV and therefore the development of AIDS. “What we see in the recent figures is the success of combination prevention, the use of different preventive strategies, adapted to the person, the phase of his life, his or her sexuality needs,” says Christiana Nöstlinger.
No more passing on
Hence the importance of being tested as soon as people think that they have run a risk. “It is very important to know that you have HIV, so that you can start treatment immediately. This means that your health remains much better: people with HIV who take antiretroviral drugs now have almost the same life expectancy as people without HIV. And an additional effect is that you no longer pass on the virus if the virus burden drops below a detectable level. Internationally people speak of ‘treatment as prevention’. ”
However, this has not completely broken the chain. There are still people who do not know (yet) that they have HIV and can therefore pass on the virus. Moreover, the virus is just the strongest at the start of the infection and therefore the most contagious. Hence the importance of a real preventive medicine that protects you against HIV.Tags: Protect yourself in HIV/AIDS