Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cautionary note sounded on HIV-protection drug

From the Globe and Mail:
AIDS-prevention advocates are hailing a pill newly shown to protect against HIV as a great tool for disease prevention. But they caution that no drug alone can address social factors blamed for the persistence of the epidemic. And they say concerns remain about who will pay for the costly treatment.

A study released on Tuesday showed that daily doses of a drug called Truvada, already used to treat HIV infection, cut the risk of new infections among healthy gay men.

The overall study, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, involved about 2,500 men at high risk of HIV infection in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, South Africa, Thailand and the United States.

Susan Buchbinder, director of the San Francisco health department’s HIV-research section, called the findings on the drug a “tremendous step forward.” But she took pains to point out that among the several HIV-prevention studies she has overseen, this latest had especially strict requirements for making sure participants stayed on track. ..more

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