Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Truvada Shows Promise in Preventing HIV Infection

Filed under: Nursing Science — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 02:06

 A study appearing today in the New England Journal of Medicine highlights research findings that the antiretroviral drug Truvada is highly effective at preventing HIV infection in men who have sex with men (MSM). Researchers studied the effect of Truvada in a sample of 2,500 MSM in San Francisco, CA and Lima, Peru. While infection rates declined an average of 44%; when participants took the drug precisely as prescribed, its efficacy rose to up to 90%! Adverse effects are low and included nausea, increased creatinine, and weight loss. The finding holds promise that perhaps pre-exposure prophylactic treatment could be the key to greatly reducing infection rates in the population at most risk. Of great concern, however is the cost. In the US, Truvada costs between $12,000-$14,000 annually. In addition, Gilead, the maker of the drug needs to pursue FDA approval for the pre-exposure indication, which could take months. 

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