Monday, April 18, 2011

AIDS Prevention Pill Works Fabulously For Gay Men, No So Much For Straight Women

Researchers canceled a study testing a daily pill to prevent infection with the AIDS virus in thousands of African women after the results found that the women taking Truvada are just as likely to get HIV as other women who taking a placebo.
Of the 56 women in the trial who contracted HIV, half were taking Truvada and half were on a placebo pill, according to a statement by FHI, a nonprofit global health group that sponsored the study. The trial of 3,902 women was halted after an independent data monitoring committee advised that it would be “highly unlikely to be able” to show Truvada’s effectiveness in preventing HIV infection in the study population, FHI said. Truvada combines two anti-HIV medications made by Gilead, Emtriva and Viread, and is currently used to treat people already affected by the disease. A study released last November found that Truvada helped protect gay and bisexual men from getting infected with the AIDS virus. “While this development was not what we would have hoped for, Gilead believes that antiretroviral therapies remain a promising potential HIV prevention strategy,” Amy Flood, a Gilead spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “We continue to support ongoing studies evaluating the company’s antiretroviral therapies as potential preventatives.” The previous study had shown that Truvada, in combination with counseling and condom use, lowered the rate of infection among men who have sex with men. FHI, based in Durham, North Carolina, said the study in African women could have failed because people didn’t adhere to the treatment regimen, the drug might not have worked in women or other reasons not known yet. “At this time, it cannot be determined whether or not Truvada works to prevent HIV infection in women,” FHI said in the statement.
In the meantime, girls, use a female condom and demand that your sexual partner use one, too.
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