Benefits of antiretroviral therapy (ART) to treat HIV include reductions in morbidity, mortality and transmission resulting in significant improvements to individual health and a virtual elimination of HIV transmission. At any given time in British Columbia, one out of three people living with HIV (PLHIV) have a detectable HIV viral load (the level of virus in the blood, which can be an indicator of health). Only two out of three PLHIV in BC remain on consistent ART, meaning ART interruption remains a major obstacle to improved health outcomes and reduced transmission.
Additionally, cases of delayed initiation of ART for newly diagnosed PLHIV remain persistent. A Canada-wide survey, led by the BC-CfE, found nearly half of the individuals living with HIV started when they had already reached an AIDS-defining illness.
Treatment as Prevention improves the health and longevity of people living with HIV, and curbs the HIV epidemic.