Modelling the Effectiveness of Treatment as Prevention in Containing the HIV Epidemic
Since the beginning of the epidemic, HIV has killed more than 25-million people worldwide. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which was introduced in 1996, has revolutionized HIV treatment, by improving health, life expectancy, and dramatically reducing transmission of HIV to others. The British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS played a leading role in the development of HAART and Merck Frosst is a major producer and developer of antiretroviral drugs. HAART has become the cornerstone of the global strategy to control the HIV epidemic. However, HIV primarily affects marginalized individuals, who typically face many barriers to accessing treatment. Sophisticated network models and large- scale computer simulations will be used to develop and evaluate strategies for improved testing and retention in care for HIV patients in British Columbia. The goal is to determine the most effective strategies for suppressing the HIV epidemic in British Columbia and nationwide.