Promising AIDS Drug Also Helps Prevent Infection

 A daily pill--currently used to treat HIV-positive individuals--can actually help preventHIV infection in men, a new study has shown. Although it's not indicated yet to prevent infection among women, the results so far seem very auspicious. The Guardian reports on the findings, just published today:

The international trial, which has generated much excited anticipation, provides proof for the first time that pills used to treat HIV/Aids can also prevent it. Campaigners greeted the results, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, with enthusiasm, suggesting that they could fundamentally change the approach to preventing HIV in some groups of people.

The findings are good news for men who have sex with men, the population in whom the drugs were tried. There were 43.8% fewer HIV infections among those who took Truvada, the once-a-day tablet containing two drugs, emtricitabine and tenofovir, than among those who did not. The protective effect was much greater in those who took the tablets consistently: it reduced the risk of those who took it 90% or more of the time by 72.8%.

 While more study is needed, the medical community plans to push forwards on implementation studies which would address how to use the pill to best effect.

Read more at The Guardian.

And Anna Forbes at RH Reality Check has a rundown of what the implications of the new drug are for women.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at November 23, 2010, 4:45am