by Quarraisha Abdool Karim and Rachael Dellar
Journal of the International AIDS Society 2014, 17:19075
Recent scientific advances centred on the use of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) – both prophylactically to prevent HIV acquisition (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP) and for treatment to minimize onward transmission (treatment as prevention, or TasP) – have led to a new-found optimism for control of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the possibility of creating an “AIDS-free generation”. In order to translate this optimism into reality, large and sustained reductions in incident HIV infections are required. Several models have projected that with substantial programmatic scale-up of the new prevention agenda, such requirements can be satisfied. However, these models typically assume a uniform efficiency for interventions in reducing incident infections across populations, and neglect to consider their current unavailability to a key population driving the epidemic at its epicentre: adolescent girls.