A landmark study has shown that a smaller dose of HIV treatments is just as effective at suppressing HIV as the standard dose currently used. These findings may benefit millions of individuals who have never been able to receive treatment due to the expensive price of the drugs. Knowing that a smaller dose is sufficient may open the way for millions to receive the necessary treatments to control this disease for the first time.

Lower doses equal lower costs. Lower costs mean that current budgets for providing healthcare to HIV patients in developing nations will go further by reaching more patients. The study was conducted using people who are HIV positive from thirteen different countries. Individuals who could never have afforded treatment were able to get a reduced dose or a full dose as a part of the study. Half of the patients were given the standard dose, while the other half only took two-thirds of the standard treatment amount.

Over 600 individuals took part in the study altogether. After a year of treatment and observation, it became clear that reducing the treatment by one-third did not have any detrimental results for the patients. This is a huge revelation for the treatment of HIV in developing nations where the primary issue has always been cost of treatment.

As with many HIV research studies, this study was funded by a foundation set up by Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda. Gates’ donations, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, have been instrumental in continuing research and helping HIV-positive individuals receive the best care possible across the globe.