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Combination Prevention Strategy Trials To Start Later This Year In Africa, GlobalPost Reports

As part of its “AIDS Turning Point” series, GlobalPost examines how the United States and its African partners are designing clinical trials at four African sites to test whether a combination of prevention methods and strategies — “notably the vaccine-like preventative effect on transmission when someone starts taking AIDS drugs, as well as the life-long protection afforded to many due to male circumcision” — could “put them on the road to a Holy Grail: the numbers of HIV infections tumbling down.”

Other prevention strategies, such as teaching sex workers to garden and save money or educating truck drivers about HIV prevention and providing them with condoms, are important components of a combination approach, according to GlobalPost, which describes the design of the “three upcoming HIV combination prevention trials [that] will start this fall and are expected to run a minimum of four years, at an initial cost of $60 million.” Brian Rettmann, the Tanzanian country coordinator for PEPFAR, said, “We need to put together all these things more than we have in the past. … We’ve seen the global epidemic rate come down, but we don’t know what is figuring into that,” the news service notes (Donnelly, 7/17).