As it becomes ever clearer that modern antiretroviral drugs can not only treat the disease but prevent it, pressure is likely to increase on donors to find more money to supply them in places like Africa and on pharmaceutical manufacturers to either sell them cheaply or release their patents to companies that can.
“This is an extremely exciting day for H.I.V. prevention,” said Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of AIDS prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. “It’s clear we’re not going to find a magic pill that prevents it, but this is adding more to the tool kit.”
Until a few years ago, condoms and abstinence were alone in that tool kit. Recent studies have added circumcision, vaginal microbicides, a daily pill for the uninfected (known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP) and early treatment for the infected (known as “treatment as prevention”).