Once-daily HIV Prevention Pill Shows Promise

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

A clinical trial of the HIV preventiondrug Viread (tenofovir), which took placein Africa, showed promising results, asfewer people taking the once-daily pillbecame infected with HIV, comparedwith those who took a placebo. FamilyHealth International conducted the trialwith 859 women, many of whom wereprostitutes. The women, none of whomhad HIV at the beginning of the trial,were divided into 2 groups: 427 womenreceived Viread and 432 received aplacebo. All the women in the trialreceived sexual health counseling andcondoms. At 6 months, 2 women in theViread group became infected with HIV,compared with 6 women in the placebogroup. The researchers, while encouragedby these results, warn againstdrawing broad conclusions from a smallstudy. They also note that providing thewomen in the placebo group with counselingand condoms resulted in 50%fewer infections than expected. Morestudies will be conducted in other partsof the world over the next year.

Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.