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Antiretroviral drugs may prevent HIV infection

Gay and bisexual men who don’t have the AIDS virus can reduce their risk of getting it by taking a drug combo

HIV-negative gay and bisexual men can lower their likelihood of acquiring the AIDS virus by taking an antiretroviral drug mix, concludes a study in which healthy men received either the medication or a placebo. The finding, published online November 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests that a preventive strategy might limit HIV spread, scientists say.

“These results represent a major advance in HIV-prevention research,” says physician Kevin Fenton of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. “For the first time, we have evidence that a daily pill used to treat HIV is partially effective for preventing HIV among gay and bisexual men at high risk of infection.” Fenton cautions, however, that the results don’t warrant abandoning other proven prevention techniques.

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