What is the benefit of the biomedical and behavioral interventions in preventing HIV transmission?

Research paper by Ricardo R Kuchenbecker

Indexed on: 03 Dec '15Published on: 03 Dec '15Published in: Revista brasileira de epidemiologia = Brazilian journal of epidemiology


Scientific evidence supports the synergy between biomedical and behavioral interventions aimed at preventing the transmission of HIV as a strategy to eradicate AIDS.To characterize comparatively the benefits from biomedical and behavioral interventions to prevent HIV transmission.Narrative review. We performed a comparative analysis of the benefits of studied interventions by means of estimating the number needed to treat (NNT). Evaluated interventions: counseling activities for behavior change to prevent exposure to HIV; antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and antiretroviral post-exposure prophylasis (PEP) for HIV and treatment of serodiscordant couples as a strategy for prevention of HIV transmission (TasP).counseling interventions and TasP have smaller NNTs, equal to, respectively, 11 (95%CI 9 - 18) at 12 months and 34 (95%CI 23 - 54) in 42 months comparatively to PrEP interventions, that resulted in 41 (95%CI 28 - 67) individuals receiving antiretrovirals in order to prevent one case of HIV infection at 36 months for men and serodiscordant couples. PEP interventions are associated with protective effects estimated at 81%. Lack of trials evaluating PEP prevents estimate of NNT.The estimate of the NNT can be a helpful parameter in the comparison between the effectiveness of different behavioral and biomedical HIV prevention strategies. Studies evaluating the benefit and safety of combined behavioral and biomedical interventions are needed, especially considering the attributable fraction of each component. Integration of behavioral and biomedical interventions is required to achieve complete suppression of the virus, and thus reducing viral replication, infectivity and the number of cases.