According to a new study conducted by a health insurer, Truvada, the pill expected to act as a HIV preventive medicine, is doing its job perfectly. The study confirmed that the medicine has effectively prevented the infection even in high-risk populations that don’t use any other form of protection.
HIV or human immunodeficiency virus can result in AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Unlike some other disease causing viruses, which leave our body after a few days’ or weeks’ time HIV stays in our body for life.
It has been estimated that at present more than 1.2 million Americans have HIV. This makes this new study extremely significant.
The study is saying that daily consumption of a pill called Truvada has found to be effective in reducing HIV risk in individuals at high risk by as much as 92%. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person is considered to be at high or substantial risk of developing HIV infection if he or she has unprotected sex with individuals who may be infected by the virus or injects illicit intravenous drugs using shared needles.
The study, which has been conducted by Kaiser Permanente, a San Francisco-based health insurer, had 657 patients at high risk of having HIV as participants.
The researchers conducting the study found that none of these patients developed HIV infection for more than two and half years when on Truvada. However, during this phase, they developed several other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Here, it must be mentioned that when the study began all 657 patients were HIV negative.
More research will have to be conducted to establish the efficacy of Truvada as this new study was not a clinical trial. For those who don’t know: a clinical trial is regarded as the best way of testing the efficacy of a particular treatment; during such trials, some participants are given the treatment, while others receive a placebo. However, experts have admitted that in spite of not being a clinical trial, the facts presented by the study conducted by Permanente are quite promising.
Truvada was approved by the FDA in 2004; since them it has been used for decreasing the level of HIV in the blood of HIV patients. Over the years, the medicine has shown great results in controlling the symptoms of the infection.