3 million: The approximate number of HIV infections that could be prevented in Africa, according to researchers' predictions, if preexposure prophylaxis medications were distributed.
A daily pill would not even have to prevent infection all the time to have this effect, if it was given to the right people with the proper counseling, according to a team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and at Imperial College London. 'If you do it right,' Pittsburgh's John Mellors states, 'you can prevent lots of infections.'
'We looked at a huge range of variables--the efficacy of PrEP, how quickly the population gets on it, whether they stay on it, what population you target,' Mellors says. 'Our analyses indicate that approximately 2.7 million to 3.2 million new HIV-1 infections could be averted in southern sub-Saharan Africa over the next 10 years by targeting PrEP to population groups with the highest sexual activity concomitant with preventing increased risk behaviors in those on PrEP.'