A Chinese study of the real-world effects of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment’s capacity to reduce the risk of HIV transmission has found it cuts the risk in half, and in more recent years treatment led to a two-thirds risk reduction, aidsmap reports. Publishing their findings in Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers analyzed data from 2006 to 2012 from the local disease control records in Henan Province, China, of 4,916 mixed-HIV-status heterosexual married couples.

A total of 157 HIV-negative members of these couples contracted HIV during the study period, for an incidence rate of 0.59 cases per 100 person-years. Of these transmissions, 84 took place after the HIV-positive partner started treatment and 73 occurred before. Overall, ARVs reduced the risk of transmission by 48 percent. During the 2009 to 2012 period, the risk reduction was 67 percent.

The researchers believe that the quality of care that the HIV-positive individuals received as well as the infrastructure to provide such services may have been instrumental to the apparent increase in the rate of success of prevention through HIV treatment.

To read the aidsmap story, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.