24 November 2010

Daily dose of HIV drug reduces risk of HIV infection

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A daily dose of an oral antiretroviral drug, currently approved to treat HIV infection, reduced the risk of acquiring HIV infection by 43.8 percent among men who have sex with men

The findings, a major advance in HIV prevention research, come from a large international clinical trial published online Nov. 23 by the New England Journal of Medicine. The study, titled "Chemoprophylaxis for HIV Prevention in Men," found even higher rates of effectiveness, up to 72.8 percent, among those participants who adhered most closely to the daily drug regimen. "We now have strong evidence that pre-exposure prophylaxis with an antiretroviral drug, a strategy widely referred to as PrEP, can reduce the risk of HIV acquisition among men who have sex with men, a segment of the population disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS," says Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. "Additional research is needed, but certainly this is an important finding that provides the basis for further investigating, developing and employing this prevention strategy, which has the potential to make a significant impact in the fight against HIV/AIDS."

"No single HIV prevention strategy is going to be effective for everyone," adds Dr. Fauci, "and it is important to note that the new findings pertain only to the effectiveness of PrEP among men who have sex with men and cannot at this point be extrapolated to other populations. Therefore, we must continue to conduct PrEP research among other study populations, such as women and heterosexual men, to provide a comprehensive picture of its potential utility as an HIV prevention tool."

 

(e! Science News)

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