A UK-based research has shown that the gay men can lower their risk of infection from the potentially fatal AIDS causing virus HIV by an impressive 86 percent with the use of preventative treatment methods, such as daily dose of dedicated medications like Gilead AIDS drugs.
According to the researchers, the results of British trial of so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) offered a real hope of reversing the HIV epidemic among gays who are one of the highest risk groups for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Lead study researcher Sheena McCormack said, “These findings show PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV infection in the real world.”
McCormack, a University College London professor of clinical epidemiology, said that the team used a Gilead’s anti-retroviral drug called ‘Truvada’ to find out the success rate of such preventive treatment methods in checking HIV spread among the high risk group in the context of a ‘real world’.
Gilead’s ‘Truvada’ is a well established drug for reducing the risk of new HIV infections in placebo-controlled trials.
In PrEP, those people are involved who even though don’t have the HIV infection but remain at their higher risk and therefore use preventive treatments, such as single antiretroviral pills every day, to remain safe from the deadly disease AIDS.
Nearly 35.3 million people across the world have a HIV-positive status. According to the global estimates of AIDS experts, new HIV infections among gays could by lowered by 20 to 25 percent through PrEP.
For the study, the researchers involved nearly 545 men who were enrolled at 13 sexual health clinics in England. The participants were randomised to get PrEP immediately or after 12 months period, enabling researchers to conduct comparative study of those on PrEP and those who are not.
The study’s findings showed 22 cases of HIV infections among the participants in the first year, i.e. 19 in the deferred group and three in the immediate one.
According to the study group, the protection by 86 percent is the best recorded from a randomised controlled PrEP-based research trial to date.
The findings of the study were presented on Tuesday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle in the US, and the complete research work and its results will be soon detailed in a medical journal.