The HIV prevention pill called Truvada is shown to be effective in protecting over 600 individuals against the deadly virus in a new study published this week in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Photo credits: Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times.
After researchers worked with over 600 individuals using the pill for more than two and a half years, they found that no new HIV case was detected. The pill, also known as an HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), is the first approved drug known to lower the risk of getting infected by HIV. Usually, individuals engaging in sexual activity with infected patients are the ones to take it on a daily basis.
The pill contains two anti-retroviral compounds called tenofovir and emtricitabine which work in concert to prevent the virus from setting up a permanent infection in the host.
The people who participated in the study were deemed to have high rates of sexually transmitted infections. Furthermore, the researchers noted risky behaviour entailing drug use via injections and decreased condom use. In spite of this, no new infection was identified in the participants. Moreover, while some of them contracted STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, HIV seems to have been effectively blocked out.
“This is very reassuring data,” said lead author, Jonathan Volk, from Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center, in a statement to the New York Times. “It tells us that PrEP works even in a high-risk population.”