New HIV pill provides hope in avoiding infection

By Jennifer Pilgrim,

A new prescription drug is currently proving effective, with little to no side effects, at preventing HIV infection in those at high risk for the disease. The medication, dubbed Truvada, is in pill form and is taken three to five times a week.

According to the Associated Press, there were over 1,600 people involved in the original study, which helped show that Truvada lowered the risk of HIV. Now, it is being seen that those who take the medication at least four times a week have virtually a 0 percent chance of becoming infected. Although condoms remain the best method to prevent infection, this pill opens up new doors for researchers to better understand how the HIV virus works and the best way to stop infection.

Dr. Robert Grant, an AIDS expert at the Gladstone Institutes who led the research project on the medication, says that scientists are encouraged by this new drug. "There's a demand, there's some forgiveness for missed doses... and it's safe."

Although health officials originally had worries about unsafe sex becoming a norm with the introduction of this pill, study participants showed no increase in risky behaviors or any additional prospect of other infections, such as syphilis or herpes, reports CBS News,

Truvada is already sold for treating HIV, but scientists state that their next focus is making it more affordable and available to everyone.

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