Studies Show That Pills Can Prevent HIV

Two studies show pills can be effective

Two new studies showed that a pill comprising one or two HIV drugs taken daily could prevent an uninfected person from catching the infection. The new studies were seen to be effective in heterosexual individuals, as earlier studies have shown these to be beneficial to gay men.

Pressure on donors for additional money

As more studies prove that the modern antiretroviral drugs are effective in preventing and treating the deadly disease, it is going to create an extra pressure on donors. The donors will be required to find additional amount to supply the drugs to under developed countries like Africa. Moreover, pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these pills would need to find cheaper methods to produce the pills or release their patents to other companies that can reduce the cost of manufacturing these pills.

Additional methods to prevent the infection

Until a few years ago, the only available method to prevent being infected with the deadly HIV was the use of condoms or abstinence from sex. Recently, additional methods, which included circumcision, vaginal microbicides, a daily pill, and early treatment of the infection, were found. The daily pills are known as the pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP.

The studies

The first study was conducted in Kenya and Uganda by the researchers from the University of Washington. The study involved 4758 couples where one partner was infected with the virus while the other was uninfected. The study shows that a daily pill of Truvada, which is a blend of tenofovir and emtricitabine reduced the instance of being affected by approximately seventy-three percent. In comparison, partners who chose a daily pill of Viread (that contains only tenofovir) reduced their chances of being infected by sixty-two percent. The second study was done in Botswana included 1200 sexually active individuals. The results of this study showed that the risk was reduced by sixty-three percent when a daily pill of Truvada was consumed. In addition, two studies are underway that is studying heterosexuals from Africa and Thailand.

Similar study shows positive results in gay men

An earlier study known as iPrEx was conducted in San Francisco that included gay men from six countries. The results showed that the risk of an uninfected individual who took a daily pill of Truvada reduced the possibility of being infected by forty-four percent. In addition, the risk reduced by almost ninety-percent when the individuals consumed the pills daily without skipping a dose.