BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Taking an anti-HIV pill before sex and a couple of days after, could help protect people against the infection with the human immunodeficiency virus. Researchers in France and Canada found that a pill called Truvada cuts down the risk of catching the virus by more than 90 percent if taken daily.
The pill is part of the prophylaxis before exposure, according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bisexual and gay men were included in a study. They were divided into two groups. One group took Truvada and experienced a nearly 90 percent reduction in new HIV infections, while the other group took a placebo.
The primary phase of the trial ended in 2014, and afterward, researchers offered the pill to everyone who took part. After 18 months on average, the risk of HIV fell by 97 percent.
Dr. Jean Michel Molina of Saint Louis Hospital in Paris was amazed how well this strategy performed against HIV. The anti-retroviral drugs have seen dramatical improvements over the last decade. They are not as toxic as they used to be. However, there is still concern over kidney damage
Some people prefer taking pills instead of using condoms. However, condoms protect against a host of other diseases, not just HIV. New HIV infections continue to add fuel to the AIDS epidemic. The peak was in 2005, at 5 million new infections, but since then they decreased at 2.5 million a year.
Sex without condoms is a huge problem for poor parts of South Africa. In Soweto, teenage girls are pressured to have sex with no condom. Over here, sex is more like a sport, something to keep them busy.
Some girls even have sex with older men in exchange for money or cell phones.
It looks that for now, HIV will continue to spread throughout poorer parts of the world, with little or no access to modern medication.
However, these life-saving drugs are expensive. The Truvada pill costs $750 for one month, and even people in developed countries are dissatisfied with the costs.
What is your opinion on this sensitive subject? Do you think the HIV epidemic is ever going to stop, or at least slow down? Leave a comment below!
Image Source – Wikipedia