Truvada, the HIV prevention drug manufactured by Gilead is showing good results in reducing the risk of infection.
Truvada won the approval of the FDA for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) after clinical trials have showed it can be highly efficient in controlled settings. Now, the results of real-world applications of the HIV prevention drug are coming in and nothing much seems to have changed.
Two new studies are pinpointing the results of Truvada in reducing the risk of infection for people in the high-risk category.
The first study, featuring in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal was conducted on 657 people from the San Francisco area. The majority of the participants are bisexual and gay men aged 20 to 68. All participants have been following a daily treatment with Truvada in the period between 2012 and 2015.
Despite the fact that half of the participants were found to have contracted sexually transmitted infections or STIs, none of them had showed signs of new HIV infections. Taking into account the high number of STI cases, the study shows that Truvada works outside of controlled clinical trials even for people who engage in high-risk practices.
A second study, featuring in The Lancet journal was focused on gay men and how using Truvada lowered the risk of infections in this group. This study largely confirmed the results of the first, as well as those of the clinical trials. Gay men who started treatment with the HIV prevention drug has a significantly lower incidence of HIV infections when compared to participants in the study who waited one year to start treatment with Truvada.
Newly detected HIV infections occurred in 2 per 100 people of those who started using the PrEP drug. 9 per 100 people whose access to Truvada was delayed presented new HIV infections yearly. Of the first group, those who were found to have been infected with HIV were likely infected before the study began according to the researchers.
“The impressive reduction in HIV incidence in people taking PrEP, without a measurable increase in other sexually transmitted infections, is reassuring for clinical, community, and public health stakeholders,”
declared Sheena McCormack of the University College London, and author of The Lancet study.
Truvada works by targeting the reverse transcriptase enzyme which aids HIV-1 to multiply inside CD4 cells. Used in combination with another drug targeting the multiplying of HIV-1, Truvada aids CD4 cells to regenerate and increase in number.
Photo Credits: thebottomline.as.ucsb.edu
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