Daily drug shown effective in preventing HIV infections | Science News

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Daily drug shown effective in preventing HIV infections

Additional preexposure prophylaxis options now under development

By
11:00am, October 27, 2015
Truvada pill

AT RISK  Recent studies have found that Truvada, a drug to prevent HIV infection in people at risk of exposure to the virus, is effective when taken daily.

After a decade of controversy and halting progress, preexposure prophylaxis may finally be about to take its place in the vanguard of AIDS prevention. 

In September, for the first time, the World Health Organization expanded the population recommended for this option, which involves taking daily doses of antiviral medication. If a person is exposed to HIV, the drugs should defeat the virus before it establishes a permanent foothold.

Previously, preexposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, was reserved only for those deemed at high risk, such as couples in which one partner is infected, or men who have sex with men. But in the updated guidelines, WHO officials now say that anyone “at significant risk” should take the drugs. The HIV prevention advocacy group AVAC called the change a “potentially profound development” that stands to greatly expand PrEP among adolescents and young

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