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)