Daily Pill Cuts HIV Risk By Nearly Three-Fourths When Taken Regularly

November 23, 2010

(ChattahBox Science News)—A new international study revealed today that men at high risk of contracting HIV can cut their risk of getting infected by 43.8% if they take the once-daily tablet Truvada – and even more promising, the study found that those who took the pill consistently (more than 90% of the time) cut their HIV risk by 72.8%, the UK Guardian reports.

The study, which was administered by the independent Gladstone Institute on behalf of the American agency NIH, gave either a placebo or Truvada to 2,500 male volunteers who confirmed that they regularly have sex with other men. The findings were considered a triumph in protecting gay and bisexual men against the illness, but the CDC warned the population at large that the pill should not be seen as the “first line of defense against HIV,” and that men should still use condoms and reduce their number of sexual partners to stop the spread of disease, the Guardian noted.

It is unclear whether the drugs can prevent HIV infection in other at-risk groups, including I.V. drug users or women whose partners refuse to wear condoms. Researchers conducted the study in six countries including the U.S., and note that additional studies are needed to extrapolate the findings further, the Guardian states.


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