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


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

HIV/Aids expert

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules