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AIDS Drug Shown to Prevent HIV in Multinational Trial of HIV-Negative Gay Men

NEW NUGGET

Name: AIDS drug shown to prevent HIV in multinational trial of HIV-negative gay men
Date: 11/24/2010
Creator: Sara Rosenthal
Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-11/irma-ads112210.php

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Summary: A new trial indicates an estimated 43.8% reduction in new HIV infections among men who took a daily antiretroviral pill. This trial is the first of its kind but the results of the study could change the face of HIV prevention.  The study followed 2,499 HIV-negative gay men, transgender women, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) from around the globe who each took a pill daily. Half of the group took the ARV drug (TDF/FTC, brand name Truvada) daily and the other half took a placebo pill. Participants were followed for an average of 14 months. When the results were calculated, there was an estimated 43.8% overall reduction in new HIV infections when compared to placebo and very few side effects were reported by the participants, though no long term information has been reported yet.

It is noted that the most important factor which led to success was the participants taking the pill regularly. Almost half of the group who received the ARV did not take the pill consistently and those men did not see a protective benefit from the drug. Therefore, adapting this preventive ARV strategy to a microbicide gel or lubricant might increase prevention numbers because those at risk might be more willing to use it as opposed to taking a pill daily. In the end, a combination approach to prevention will probably be the most effective method.

Implications: This could potentially change the way GRS teaches prevention within the curriculum- however more studies must be done on this research and it might be years until a product like this is on the market and widely available in the countries where we work.