World Health Organisation recommends that all gay men should take antiretroviral medicine to halt HIV epidemic

Studies show that antiretroviral drug use can reduce the chance of passing on HIV by up to 92 per cent

The World Health Organisation has announced for the first time that all men who have sex with men should take antiretroviral drugs, in a bid to try and contain the growing rates of HIV in gay communities around the world.

In a report published on Friday, the WHO made “strong recommendations” that all men who have sex with men should seriously consider taking antiretroviral medicine “as an additional method of preventing the HIV infection from spreading”, even if they haven’t got the virus themselves.

The report says that in addition to other forms of protection like condoms and regular testing, increased use of antiretroviral drugs in the gay community could have a significant impact in stopping the spread of HIV and could prevent a million new infections in the next ten years, according to the WHO.

In the report, it says that homosexual men are 19 times more likely to have HIV than the rest of the population, and it is believed that encouraging gay men to take the antiretroviral medicine could decrease this significantly.

According to the report, HIV rates in gay communities are still on the rise According to the report, HIV rates in gay communities are still on the rise Some scientists predict that the antiretroviral drug use for all gay men could lower the spread of HIV by 20 to 25 per cent.

Speaking after the release of the report, Gottfried Hirnschall, who heads WHO’s HIV department, said that they were seeing an “exploding epidemic” when it came to HIV rates in the gay community around the world.

He said this was largely down to a more relaxed attitude to HIV, which were the result of new drugs that made it possible to live with the disease.

Read More Stories: Doctors hope for HIV cure shattered
Thousands of HIV patients go hungry as benefit cuts hit

He said that antiretroviral drugs could help stop this growth and supported the WHO’s recommendations.

A number of studies looking into the impact antiretroviral drugs have on preventing the transmission of HIV have shown that those who regularly take the drug have a significantly smaller chance of contracting or passing on the virus.

The Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis as HIV Prevention Among Men who Have Sex with Men (Iprex) study published in 2010, the most in-depth study into this area,  found that the use of antiretroviral drugs could reduce the risk of infection in men who have sex with men by up to 92 per cent.

As well as looking at how to best prevent the spread of HIV in the gay community, the report also focussed on other high-risk groups including transgender women, sex workers and people that inject drugs.

According to the study, transgender women and those that inject drugs are 50 times more likely to catch HIV, while sex workers are 14 times more likely to get the disease when compared with the rest of the population.

The report recommended that national agencies that deal with preventing the spread of HIV should spend more time focusing on these groups as they account for just under half of all new HIV infections worldwide.

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

    Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Day In a Page

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect