HIV Treatment Pills Could Reduce Chance of Infection by up to 78%

A new study has shown that HIV treatment pills can reduce the chances of infection between heterosexual men and women.

The study involved over 1200 sexually active men and women in Bostwana. Half were given, Truvada, an HIV treatment pill and the rest were given a placebo.

Of those who were believed to be taking Truvada regularly 4 were infected while 19 of those who were on placebo were infected. That essentially meant the former were 78% less likely to be infected.

A similar study revealed after a test of over 4,700 people in Kenya showed a reduction of risk by between 62% to 73%.

Said Dr. Lynn Paxton of the United States Center for Disease Control

This is good news. “This is a good day for HIV prevention.

Lisa Power, the policy director of the UK-based Terrence Higgins Trust added:

These findings are a useful development. We need to employ every method at our disposal to drive down the onward transmission of HIV and this is likely to be one of a range of future options.

We already know that if someone has HIV, using treatment drastically reduces the likelihood of them passing it on, as does using condoms. We also know that if an accident happens, like a condom breaking during sex, then giving the HIV-negative partner treatment (post exposure prophylaxis) also reduces the chance of passing on HIV.

It is currently estimated that only about half of the 33 million people living with HIV know their HIV status. An increase in the uptake of testing for HIV would have a significant impact on the AIDS response, particularly if more people gain access to new HIV prevention technologies in light of the new findings.

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