Two studies were completed, the first involved testing more than 1,200 women and men from South Africa. Half of those involved received a once daily dose of Truvada, an HIV treatment made by Gilead Sciences, Inc. A placebo was given to the remaining half. Researchers found that the real drug lowered the risk of infection by close to 78 percent.
An analysis of people who were believed to be regularly taking the pills found four of those on Truvada became infected with HIV, compared with 19 on the dummy pill. That means the real drug lowered the risk of infection by roughly 78%, researchers said.
A second study done at the University of Washington involved 4,700 heterosexual couples from Uganda and Kenya, in which one member of the pair was HIV positive. Those without the virus were told to take either daily placebos, Truvada pills, or another Gilead treatment called Viread. The medicine proved to reduce the risk of infection by 62 percent, researchers say.
“This is good news. This is a good day for HIV prevention,” said Dr. Lynn Paxton of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who has coordinated the agency’s research into HIV prevention.
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