Drug Combination Prevents HIV Infection in Monkeys
February 7, 2006
On Monday at the 13th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Denver, CDC researchers reported that injections of two drugs used to treat HIV patients completely protected monkeys from becoming infected.
The rhesus monkeys were injected with a version of Truvada, Gilead Science's once-daily pill that includes its drugs Viread (tenofovir) and Emtriva (emtracitibine). The monkeys were then exposed rectally to a combined monkey-human HIV virus (SHIV). The exposures and the injections continued daily for 14 days. "Treatment continued for four weeks after last challenge," reported Dr. Walid Heneine of CDC.
The six monkeys that received the drug injections were all completely protected from infection. Nine monkeys used in a previous experiment eventually all became infected.
In a statement, CDC said, "Study authors believe the findings may be the strongest animal data yet suggesting that potent antiretrovirals given before HIV exposure may prevent sexual HIV transmission." However, they cautioned that the drug dose differed slightly from that found in people taking Truvada. Studies that could determine whether the findings will translate to humans are ongoing.
02.06.06; Maggie Fox
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.