PrEP Studies Show Possible Effectiveness; Scientists Say Further Tests Must Be Completed for Confirmation
August 14, 2006
Results from a clinical trial that investigated the potential use of tenofovir and Gilead's combination pill Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV transmission show possible effectiveness, but scientists say that the low number of people involved in the study means that the effectiveness cannot be guaranteed, the AP/Forbes reports (Marchione, AP/Forbes, 8/12). PrEP is an experimental approach to HIV prevention, in which HIV-negative people receive antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV transmission (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/11). The study -- run by Family Health International, funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and released Saturday ahead of the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto -- involved 400 HIV-negative women in Ghana, half of whom took Gilead's Viread, which is known generically as tenofovir, for one year (AP/Forbes, 8/12). Half of the women took a placebo. Two study participants taking Viread tested HIV-positive at the end of the trial, compared with six women taking the placebo pill, according to the study. The results are not statistically significant, Ward Cates, president of research at FHI who was involved in the study, said. In addition, the study finds Viread to be safe despite previous concerns about potential drug toxicity to the kidney, liver or bones. Some study participants reported stomach pains and headaches, along with malaria, an unrelated illness, according to the researchers (Chase, Wall Street Journal, 8/12). Cates also said that the women in the study did not have an increased amount of sex and continued to use condoms.
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2006 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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