It saves lives.
KINDA! FOR NOW!
This group of folks looked at a very specific question: What are the anticipated effects of ASAP HIV testing and ASAP antiretrovirals in the homosexual community of LA? If we start implementing this strategy now, in 2013, what will the HIV landscape in this community look like in 2023?
First, the good news–
The people who are HIV+, but dont know, could drop from 20% to 5%.
People in the community living with HIV (on meds) increases from 62 to 76%. While this might look bad (more people with HIV/AIDS??), its actually good. The number goes up because the people progressing from HIV to AIDS drops 39%, and HIV/AIDS deaths drop 19%. More people will be living with HIV because fewer people would be dying.
But if HIV+ people are staying healthier and living longer, does that mean they will be infecting MORE people? Nope! The model has new infections dropping 34%.
This is great news, right? Combined with all the stuff we learned earlier, GREAT NEWS!!
The great news comes at a cost.
Everyone is on meds. No one completely clears the virus. Drug resistance develops. We know this.
So all of these good stats have to be looked at in light of this one–
The prevalence of multi-drug resistance HIV doubles. Up to 9%.
9% might not seem like that big of a number, not that big of a deal, but it is a BIG deal to the people infected with them. They have a limited number of antiretrovirals they can use. All the benefits of antiretroviral use? Go right out the window for these folks. When (not if) their virus becomes resistant to the rest of the available drugs, they are screwed.