In a path-breaking study, the scientists have found that a drug meant for treating infection from AIDS causing Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can tremendously contribute in the prevention of potentially deadly virus contraction by gay men when taken before and after indulging in risky sex.
The study, which was conducted in Canada and France, for the first time tested the use and efficacy of Gilead Science’s two combined AIDS drugs, Truvada, in people engaged in risky sex.
The study showed that the uninfected men who took the prescribed doses of Truvada were at 86 percent lesser risk of contracting HIV infection against those who were given dummy pills.
According to the researchers, the new findings offer greater hope in the medical world of dealing with the deadly HIV-AIDS as Gilead Science’s drug provides more appealing method of prevention of the fatal infection and the disease beyond using condoms or taking daily pills, although those methods are still put under best and safest category.
“The enormous benefits of the drug have impressed me,” Dr. Scott Hammer, an AIDS specialist at Columbia University, said.
Dr. Hammer is heading the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), where the major findings of the study were detailed on Tuesday in Seattle, the US.
For the study, the team looked at roughly 545 men enrolled at 13 sexual health clinics in England. They were randomised to get PrEP soon or after a period of 12 months, which enabled the study group to compare those participants on PrEP and those who were not.
The 22 participants reported HIV infections in the first year with three in the immediate group and 19 in the deferred one, the findings showed.
The researchers said 86 percent protection by the drug was the best recorded from a randomised controlled PrEP-based research trial to date.
The detailed research work has yet not been published in a medical journal.