Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation

Inexpensive daily anti-HIV pill found to be effective as preventative measure

Thursday, July 14, 2011

In a groundbreaking series of recent clinical trials, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that a pill containing either one or two anti-HIV drugs taken daily can reduce transmission of the HIV-virus by as much as three-quarters among heterosexual couples.

Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, stated that two clinical trials in Kenya and Uganda along with a separate trial in Botswana, demonstrated that even with a current lack of a vaccine to combat against the HIV virus, this new approach, “termed pre-exposure prophylaxis,” may be the best hope for slowing or even halting the spread of the deadly plague throughout the developing world.

The two-drug combination pills are known commercially as “Truvada” manufactured by Gilead Sciences Corporation, in Foster City, California. The pills are generically obtainable in many developing countries for as little as 25 cents per pill, (U.S.), according to officials from the World Health Organization.

The new results — a breakthrough finding that promises to intensify a new focus on AIDS prevention — are scheduled to be presented next week at the International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome, Italy.

“The last year has brought several breakthroughs in AIDS prevention research, in addition to this latest finding and the study involving gay men, a study released last July found that microbicides could sharply reduce HIV transmission in women and a study in HIV-positive people showed that treating the infected person intensively could reduce transmission by as much as 96%,” said Kevin Frost, chief executive of amfAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

According to Mermin, the CDC would immediately begin working with other public health groups to establish guidelines for using the drugs prophylactically in this country.

“Physicians should await those guidelines before prescribing the drugs,” Mermin said, “but if they believe it is imperative to do it, they should adhere to the guidelines previously announced for using them in gay men.”

A study published in November in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that those who popped the pill more than 90% of the time, were 73% less susceptible to contract HIV.

Archives: , , , , ,

Filed under: National Headlines

13 more reader comments:

  1. so many people who are HIV+ can’t even afford the meds and now you want to give them out as a preventative measure. How about you slap a condom on and practice safer sex techniques. *GAH*

    Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 9:40am
  2. Well, I know there are still a lot of issues surrounding this. But at least something helps.

    Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 9:42am
  3. Not sure this is a good thing…it could promote risky behavior…not sure

    Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 10:00am
  4. …for heterosexual African couples….for now.

    Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 10:17am
  5. My views on this matter seem to differ, so far. I’m ecstatic to hear about the dramatic progress in medicine for those who are living with HIV! This news gives me hope toward the direction of a cure and, in my opinion, I believe this medical advancement would lead to the riddance of this deleterious disease much sooner than expected.

    Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 10:44am
  6. This is good news in the research for a cure, though even as this product might prevent HIV, it is not 100% effective and all advertizing about its use as such should come with a serious explanation about the benefits from safe sex up until the day the virus is eradicated, purely and simply. The masses need things to be toroughly explained, what about all the people who are back at dangerous behaviours thinking falsely that the disease is now decreasing and that they are not at risk anymore because of poorly written articles found on the Internet.

    Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 10:56am
  7. As a preventative measure for couples where one person is HIV+ and the other is not, I think this is great. It shouldn’t replace safer sex but it would be good to know that one broken condom wouldn’t be devastating. Accidents happen. This could keep such accidents from being tragic.

    Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 11:01am
  8. In regards to promoting risky behavior, it’s so much easier to put the blame and responsibility on other people/things so one does not have to be accountable for his/her own actions. It is my opinion, a pill will not promote risky behavior any more than a driver’s license will promote a car accident. (I’m strictly speaking about consensual relations for this sake of argument.) If a person is mature enough to engage in adult matters, then it is up to that person to be informed and responsible for him/herself. If something goes awry, it’s not always the other person’s fault; it could be an operator error as well. This is why we have car insurance, for those exact reasons, and that’s one of the ways I view the preventative HIV medication. It’s there if and when needed, but not to go riding a million miles an hour on the “Freeway of Love”!

    Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 11:11am
  9. @Rion, I didn’t say that this pill would promote risky behaviors. But it is clear that if this product doesn’t come with strong advices promoting safe sex even while using these pills, many misinformed people might not understand the still high risk of infection from using thi spill without back up from the use of condoms.

    Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 11:27am
  10. And about accountability, yes, one should be informed, and that is why I’m talking about explaining the risks to the masses. To be informed, one needs the proper information.

    Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 11:32am
  11. 25 cents per pill is outrageously too expensive. That would put a small dent in the pockets of some Americans, whom the price is targeted to. To some in third world countries, where people make very little money, that would be like making payments on a Bentley. Some of them don’t even make 25 cents a day to begin with. They can’t afford this medication.

    Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 2:31pm
  12. I fear this would give people an excuse to sleep around and be less cautious when it comes to the spreading of HIV…. :/

    Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 12:45am
  13. It’s not 100% effective. You still have to use a condom. It’s not an excuse to become lax. HIV and other STD’s are still out there, and they are still life threatening and they still reduce the quality of your life before ending it. I’m 53 and I’ve known a lot of pos men through the years. Not one has ever said that his life didn’t change for the worse on a daily basis after he caught the disease. Not one.

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 9:04pm