About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Daily Dose of Antiretroviral Drug Could Save Healthy People from HIV Infection

by VR Sreeraman on September 19, 2007 at 4:21 PM
Font : A-A+

Daily Dose of Antiretroviral Drug Could Save Healthy People from HIV Infection

Providing healthy people with an antiretroviral drug to protect them against HIV infection could drastically slow the spread of the virus in sub-Saharan Africa, US researchers said Tuesday.

In a best-case scenario, the drug could prevent three million new HIV cases in this part of Africa over a 10-year span, even if it was only made available to the most sexually active individuals, the investigators said.

Advertisement

"This could represent another tool in our arsenal against HIV infection," said Ume Abbas, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and lead author of the paper.

The drug in question is tenofovir, one of the cocktail of antiretroviral medications given to HIV patients.

In studies on monkeys, the drug has been shown to be very effective in protecting them against the simian version of the human immunodeficiency virus that can lead to AIDS, and it is now being tested in humans.
Advertisement

US health authorities are funding five separate trials involving high risk groups such as gay and bisexual men, sex workers and intravenous drug users, on four continents.

The earliest results of those trials will not be available until early 2008, but US and British researchers decided to use computer modeling to project ahead to evaluate just how useful the drug treatment might be in reducing HIV transmission rates in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic of southern sub-Saharan Africa if and when it is approved for that purpose.

The researchers looked at three different scenarios. In the first they assumed that the drug was effective 90 percent of the time, and that 75 percent of the sexually active population (15-49 year-olds) could be persuaded to pop a daily pill to protect themselves from HIV.

If that rosy scenario panned out, the strategy could potentially cut new HIV infections by a whopping 74 percent over a decade, according to the computer projections.

If the drug was only effective 60 percent of the time and used by just 50 percent of the sexually active population, the reduction fell to about 25 percent over the same time period.

Finally, the researchers modeled a scenario where the drug was effective 30 percent of the time and only a quarter of the target population used it, yielding a reduction in new cases of a mere 3.3 percent.

Even assuming that the drug does prove as effective in humans as it was in monkeys in protecting healthy individuals from infection, it is "never going to be feasible to treat the entire population," Abbas noted.

But even if governments or aid agencies were able to find the funds to supply the drug to the most sexually active individuals -- an estimated 18 percent of the population -- it could still make a big dent in the problem, slashing the infection rate by almost 30 percent over a decade.

That translates to 3.2 million cases.

"Our data highlights the enormous potential public health benefit of pre-exposure chemoprophylaxis against HIV, provided the regimen is efficacious and used consistently daily for a number of years," said John Mellors, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the epicenter of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, with more than 22 million adults infected with the virus.

The study appears in PLoS One, a journal of the Public Library of Science.

Source: AFP
LIN/C
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
Long-Term Glycemic Control - A Better Measure of COVID-19 Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Oral Health And AIDS Drug Toxicity AIDS/HIV AIDS/HIV - Epidemiology AIDS/HIV - Clinical Features AIDS/HIV - Health Education AIDS/HIV - Prevention And Transmission AIDS / HIV - Treatment AIDS/HIV- Lab Tests and Faqs Signature Drug Toxicity 

Recommended Reading
AIDS / HIV - Treatment
Encyclopedia section of medindia explains in brief about the treatment for AIDS/HIV...
Antiretroviral Drug is also Capable of Curing Cancer
An antiretroviral drug used in the treatment of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is also ......
FDA Panel Recommends Approval of AIDS Drug
An independent FDA panel of medical experts recommended accelerated approval of Merck's ......
AIDS/HIV
"AIDS is an epidemic disease, a potentially preventable, deadly infection for which there is no cure...
AIDS/HIV - Clinical Features
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about HIV Clinical Features...
AIDS/HIV - Epidemiology
AIDS or HIV is an epidemic disease, a potentially deadly infection that can be prevented with preca...
AIDS/HIV - Health Education
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about AIDS information and health education....
AIDS/HIV - Prevention And Transmission
Encyclopedia section of medindia explains in brief about the prevention for AIDS/HIV...
Drug Toxicity
Drug toxicity is an adverse reaction of the body towards a drug that results as a side effect of a d...
Oral Health And AIDS
AIDS has taken on massive proportions in modern times. It is estimated that over 15 million people a...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use