Two groundbreaking studies in Africa have shown that partners of people who have HIV can protect themselves by taking once-daily antiretroviral pills.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) teamed with the Botswana Ministry of Health to study and test the new antiretroviral pills that could possibly reduce the spread of AIDS.
The CDC study looked at 1,200 men and women in Botswana and found that those taking the daily pills containing Truvada lowered the risk of contracting the HIV infection by 78-percent.
The other study was conducted in Kenya and Uganda, parts of Africa where the epidemic of AIDS still runs rampant and regular condom use still continues to be rejected. A larger number of discordant heterosexual couples participated. Discordant couples are those where one partner is infected and the other is not.
The second study was an effort by Partners PrEP; the University of Washington tested daily pre-exposure of prophylaxis (PrEP) and found positive results on the effect of Truvada in reducing HIV transmission.
“Given the severity of the HIV epidemic among heterosexual men and women globally – and the critical need for female-controlled prevention methods – this study provides exciting and welcome news,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. “The next important step is to fully review the data and assess when and how PrEP should best be used for HIV prevention among heterosexuals.”
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