To:   Dr Gottfried Hirnschall.  (hirnschallg@who.int)
Director of the HIV/AIDS Department, World Health Organization

From:   Arthur Ammann M.D.
On behalf of those who supported us through the Treat-All website www.treatall.org

TREAT ALL HIV INFECTED NOW

On behalf of the TREATALL.ORG campaign and its supporters, we urgently petition the World Health Organization to update their HIV treatment guidelines.

By taking action now to ensure that ALL of those affected by HIV are treated — men, women and children, regardless of their clinical status or CD4 count — WHO can save lives, prevent countless numbers of new HIV infections, dramatically reduce long-term healthcare costs, and take a lead in this stage of the battle against HIV/AIDS around the world.

THE PROBLEM

Clinical research indicates that starting antiretroviral treatment  (ART) earlier than recommended by WHO could significantly reduce the continued long term human and economic cost of the epidemic.

The current WHO guidelines are in urgent need of revision. They fail to incorporate the results of clinical research studies that have caused other international organizations to revise their guidelines (such as the US Department of Health and Human Services and the International AIDS Foundation [ref 1].)

In failing to update their guidelines we believe that WHO is out of step with the standard-of-care recommendations of the majority of international HIV experts who have taken into account the broad benefits of early ART – benefits such as: reducing mortality, morbidity, opportunistic infections including tuberculosis;  decreasing HIV transmission (treatment as prevention);  decreasing non HIV-related diseases;  decreasing hospitalization costs;  maintaining CD4 counts;  preserving the life of HIV infected care givers, and potentially reducing the vast HIV related orphan epidemic.

WHO projects that an update to the guidelines will not occur until 2013 [ref. 2]. We believe that this delay will cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children.

The emergence of treatment regimens, including HAART, costing substantially less than at any time in the epidemic has dramatically lowered the cost of effective treatment. Simplifying treatment recommendations by “treating all” is the best public health approach to controlling the HIV epidemic. Without revising the WHO guidelines now, the change to “treat all patients” will be slow and ineffective, and will cost many lives and much unnecessary suffering.

THE SOLUTION

WHO should take action now to change their HIV treatment guidelines for men, women, pregnant women, infants and children — they should be updated to recommend the treatment of ALL HIV infected persons, regardless of their CD4 counts or their clinical status.

WHO WE ARE

The TREAT ALL campaign is a subsidiary of “Global Strategies for HIV Prevention” – a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established since 1998 to save the lives and alleviate the suffering of women and children, through HIV prevention, treatment, and care.

We launched the TREATALL.org campaign at the World AIDS conference in July 2012 — the campaign solicited petitions from attendees and friends requesting that WHO change their guidelines to provide treatment for all HIV infected individuals.

Since its launch, we have received support from over 40 different countries, these include:

Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bermuda, Bhutan, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Colombia, Congo, Denmark, Egypt, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Liberia, Malawi, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, U.K., U.S.A., Venezuela, Vietnam, Zaire, Zambia

At the time of its launch TREATALL.ORG was the first entry in Google searches for this topic.

PLEASE ACT NOW

On behalf of our supporters, and of those presently affected by HIV around the world, we ask you to immediately update your guidelines for HIV treatment.

 

Sincerely

 

Arthur Ammann M.D.
Global Strategies for HIV Prevention

 

 

References
[1] “Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents” Department of Health and Human Services, 2012

[2] “The Strategic Use of Antiretrovirals” World Health Organization, 2012