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Truvada effective in HIV prevention


Two new studies have revealed that the use of Truvada, the new medication to prevent HIV infection, in high-risk individuals has proved to be quite successful so far, Pioneer News reports.

Earlier studies have shown that Truvada (tenofovir-emtricitabine), which was approved in the U.S for "pre-exposure prophylaxis" (PrEP), can reduce risks of HIV. Truvada is a combination therapy composed of two medicines in one pill, which works by making it harder for the HIV virus to multiply.

One of the studies found that of the 657 people who took a daily dose of Truvuda, none had been diagnosed with any new HIV infections. The second study revealed that people in the UK who were taking Truvada had a far lower risk of being diagnosed HIV.

Market Business reports that the first study was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and involved people in San Francisco area, which mostly included gay and bisexual men between 20 and 68 years old. The participants took Truvada daily for a period of three years from 2012 and 2015. Even though none of the participants had new HIV infection, half of them contracted new sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The second study was published in The Lancet and focused on gay men. The participants who  started on PrEP had significantly fewer new HIV infection compared with those who waited a year for the pill.

"The impressive reduction in HIV incidence in people taking PrEP, without a measurable increase in other sexually transmitted infections, is reassuring for clinical, community, and public health stakeholders," said Sheena McCormack, from the University College London, who took part in The Lancet study, according to Market Business.

Founder and co-chair and medical research director of the Fenway Institute, Dr. Kenneth Mayer said,  "When you do the math, the reduction was an 86 percent decrease."

Mayor noted that the risky sexual behavior of the people who took Truvada had continued after taking the medication.

Mayer notes, "The data say that people don't necessarily increase their risky behaviors and they don't decrease their risk in this kind of setting either," he said.

However, the study does not prove a conclusive causative relationship between the drug and the reduction in HIV transmission.

Study co-author Jonathan Volk said,

"I don't think PrEP is the magic bullet, but we know that it does work really well. It's great to know we have options."

Tags Truvada, HIV
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