Groundbreaking studies show new way to protect against HIV

Jul 26, 2011

New drugs may help reduce the spread of HIV

While there are a number of drugs that people infected with HIV and AIDS can take to boost their immune system and prolong their lives, until now there have not been many medications for individuals whose partners have HIV.

Now, studies in Botswana, Kenya and Uganda have shown that partners of HIV infected people can protect themselves against infection by taking a once-daily pill and possibly limit the number of life insurance claims that are associated with the disease.

The use of condoms has helped limit the spread of the disease in many parts of the world, but in areas where they are more difficult to come by and education spreads slowly, this drug may be the medical breakthrough experts have been looking for.

The study, led by the University of Washington's International Clinical Research Center, found that individuals taking the AIDS drug tenofovir had 62 percent fewer infections and people taking a pill that combined tenofovir and emtricitabine had 73 percent fewer infections, the media outlet reports.

These breakthroughs come after researchers discovered that people infected with HIV who are taking antiretroviral drugs are staying healthy and are less likely to infect their partners.  

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