Prelims level : Science & Technology Mains level : Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
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Why in News:

  • A European study of nearly 1,000 gay male couples — who had sex without condoms where one partner had HIV and was taking anti-retroviral drugs to suppress it — has found the treatment can prevent sexual transmission of the virus.


  • After eight years of follow-up of the so-called serodifferent couples, the study found no cases at all of HIV transmission within couples
  • The study proves, the researchers said, that using anti-retroviral therapy to suppress the AIDS virus to undetectable levels also means it cannot be passed on via sex,
  • The findings provide conclusive evidence for gay men that the risk of HIV transmission with suppressive ART is zero
  • The study, published in the Lancet medical journal assessed the risk of HIV transmission between serodifferent gay male couples — where one partner is HIV-positive and one is HIV-negative — who do not use condoms.
  • It also found zero risk.


  • The word AIDS stands for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. This means deficiency of immune system acquired during the lifetime of an individual indicating that it is not a congenital disease [disease or abnormality present from birth]. ‘Syndrome’ means a group of symptoms.
  • AIDS was first reported in 1981 and in the last twenty-five years or so, it has spread all over the world.

antiretroviral therapy:

  • AIDS is caused by HIV, a retrovirus that attacks the immune system. The virus destroys CD4+ T cells, a type of white blood cell that’s vital to fighting off infection. AIDS is treated with antiretroviral drugs. These drugs suppress HIV but don’t completely eliminate the virus from the body.

Government initiatives

  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the National Strategic Plan 2017-24 aimed at eradicating HIV/AIDS by 2030. It was launched on the occasion of World AIDS Day (1st December).
  • Mission SAMPARK was also launched to trace those who are Left to Follow Up and are to be brought under Antiretroviral therapy (ART) services.
  • 90:90:90 Strategy It is a new HIV treatment narrative of UNAIDS programme which has set targets of 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status (90% diagnosed), 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (90% on HIV treatment) and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression (90% suppressed).
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