13 August 2006

A pill to prevent HIV?

There's some evidence that a drug called Viread (tenofovir) may prevent HIV infection, but it's going to take a larger study to make sure, according to a report.

Can a pill taken once a day prevent HIV infection?

There's some evidence that a drug called Viread (tenofovir) - already approved for treating HIV/Aids in combination with other drugs - might do the job, but it's going to take a larger study to make sure, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The first test of Viread as an HIV preventative, the wire service reports, was in Africa, and fewer people became infected when they took the drug. The problem was that very few people in the control group - the study subjects who took a placebo - became infected either, so a larger study is needed to determine Viread's effectiveness.

The results of the Africa study were released in Toronto Saturday, as health professionals gathered for the International AIDS Conference. "It's incredibly encouraging," the AP quotes Dr Helene Gayle, president of the antipoverty group CARE and co-chair of the conference, as saying. The drug "would be an incredibly important new prevention tool that we should make available as soon as possible," she added.

Initial research on animals has indicated that taking Viread before being exposed to HIV, either through drugs or sex, could help prevent infection, the wire service reported. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
HIV/Aids Centre

August 2006


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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

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