Obviously gay sex places us at a high enough risk that every precaution is worth taking seriously. Now, for the first time there may
be an anti-HIV pill that can prevent contracting HIV at all. This time it looks promising and serious. Let's hope so. And if it really works, let's also hope it will be affordable. Even if it actually works perfectly and can guaranty prevention of HIV, I'll still be using safe sex methods. For me, this pill would be in addition to safe sex methods, but not instead of safe sex methods.
I wouldn't start throwing away those condoms just yet (especially since there are still plenty of other STDs out there), but the news is encouraging.
Anti-HIV pill draws near
Thai experts say Truvada risks cutting condom use
The first drug shown to prevent HIV infection has won the endorsement of a panel of US federal advisers, clearing the way for a potentially landmark victory in the 30-year fight against the virus that causes Aids.
A US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel on Thursday recommended approval of the daily pill Truvada for people at risk of contracting HIV, including gay and bisexual men as well as heterosexual couples with a HIV-positive partner.
The US FDA is not required to follow the panel's advice, though it usually does. A final decision is expected by June 15.
California-based Gilead Sciences Inc has marketed Truvada since 2004 as a treatment for people who are infected with the virus. The medication is a combination of two older HIV drugs, Emtriva and Viread. Doctors usually prescribe it as part of a drug cocktail to repress the virus.
The panelists, however, raised a number of concerns created by the first drug to prevent HIV. In particular, the panel debated whether Truvada might lead to reduced use of condoms, the most reliable defence against HIV infection.
Panelists struggled to outline steps that would ensure patients take the pill every day. In clinical trials, patients who did not take their medication diligently were not protected.
Panelists stressed that people should be tested to make sure they do not have HIV before starting therapy with Truvada. Patients who already have the virus and begin taking Truvada could develop a resistance to the drug, making the disease even more difficult to treat.
But Truvada's groundbreaking preventive ability has exposed stark disagreements on prevention among those in the HIV community. While Truvada's supporters say the drug is an important new option, critics worry that the drug could give users a false sense of security, and encourage risky behaviour.
Full story: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/2 ... draws-near
There may be an HIV Vaccine on the way too:
Thai research team studies efficacy of HIV vaccine
A Thai research team is working on two new studies to see how a vaccine can boost people's immunity against HIV.
" These studies will help us determine if a vaccine can strengthen immunity against the virus," Prof Dr Punnee Pitisuttithum, chief of Mahidol University's Vaccine Research Centre, said.
About 500,000 to 600,000 people are living with HIV/Aids in Thailand, and though the situation has improved in terms of treatment, the efficiency of preventative measures has been below expectation and the annual average of 10,000 new patients is higher than projected.
The trials, divided into two, will involve a total of 632 volunteers. The first study, called RV305, will evaluate immunity boosting strategies for noninfected participants.
In 2009, the HIVvaccine efficacy trial, RVI44, tested a combination of two vaccines - ALVAC HIV (prime vaccine) and AIDSVAX B/E (the booster) - on more than 16,000 HIVnegative men and women from Chon Buri and Rayong provinces. The outcome of the trial showed that the combined vaccine lowered the rate of HIV infections by 31.2 per cent, but had no effect on the amount of the virus in the blood.
The results of RV144 trial also showed that the efficacy rate of primeboost vaccine, one year after being administered, was approximately 60 per cent.
A recent discovery suggested that the potential immune correlatesantibody so called V1/V2 region is likely to be protective leading to further studies using similar regimen.
"The previous trial helped us to learn more about the type of antibodies that could improve a human's immunity to fight against HIV. This was why we are conducting two studies to find out more details about the efficacy of the HIV vaccine," Dr Punnee, who is leading the studies, said.
About 167 people, who were part of the previous RV144 trial, will participate in the RV305 trial and receive eight shots of the combined vaccine in one year. The RV305 trial began last month and the result should be ready in two years.
Full story: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/nationa ... 81805.html