HIV Prevention Trials Show Flexibility in Antiretroviral Dosing

Published: February 27, 2015

Voice of America
Jessica Berman
Original Article:

Conquering HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has proved to be one of the greatest challenges of modern medicine. But researchers have found drugs that can significantly curtail HIV’s spread.

Studies emerging at this year’s annual meeting of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, held in Seattle, reveal that there’s no single dosing strategy that works for everyone who wants to protect themselves against the AIDS virus.

The antiretroviral drug Truvada has long been used to suppress HIV in infected individuals. It can also be taken by uninfected people to shield themselves from acquiring the AIDS virus from their HIV-positive partners. Using Truvada daily or before and after sex is called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PReP.  

The good news from three, high-profile studies of PReP is that dosing can be flexible.

Truvada, a drug compound that combines emtricitabine and tenofovir, works well at preventing HIV.  

The antiretroviral drug is the most effective at reducing the risk of infection when taken daily. But used before and after sex, as directed, PReP also significantly lessened the risk of HIV transmission.

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