As per the researchers, for the first time, New Hope in HIV Prevention Drug is that HIV infection can be blocked by a drug duo which is widely used for treating the AIDS virus.
Now minimum 56 countries have steady or declining incidence of HIV/AIDS, announced by UNAIDS. For every one, still two new infections are put on antiretroviral therapy on World AIDS Day this week. The global AIDS epidemic has become for the better with fewer new infections than before a decade however much work lies ahead and progress is growing gradually, according to the United Nation’s leading AIDS agency reported Tuesday.
In 2009, 2.6 million people were infected with HIV according to a new report by UNAIDS and when the epidemic was at its peak. A daily dose of extensively available HIV drug, Truvada, is able to prevent infections in gay and bisexual men, as per the news reported researchers. But a series of new scientific results in prevention with three breakthrough tests in only 16 months present the first gleam of hope that “three zeros” — zero new infections, zero stigma/discrimination and zero AIDS deaths may be achieved.
AIDS deaths and raised the number of people living with HIV has been driven via greater access to treatment. In 2004, deaths went down from 2.1 million worldwide to 1.8 million last year worldwide. About 33.3 million people were estimated who were suffering from an HIV infection which was up from 32.8 million a year earlier.
Kevin Fenton, director of HIV prevention for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says “The decline in HIV infections globally is encouraging news. But real challenges lie ahead. For example, the 5 million people on treatment today represents only a third of the people in need. The reality is, because there’s no cure, there’s no vaccine; the only way to end the epidemic is by ending new infections. Fenton says, adding that’s going to take a global push to adopt new approaches to prevention, expand HIV counseling and testing, and combat the stigma and discrimination that breeds risky behavior and keeps people from seeking preventive services and treatment.”
Researchers say, in the battle against HIV, the Truvada drug could prove as a key factor. Tenofovir and emtricitabine are included in the drug duo which is packaged as a once-daily pill and sold in drugstores. Almost of 44% amongst gay and bisexual men who took the drug got the benefits in lowering HIV infections as compare to those who were taking a placebo. Men who were regularly taking their pill daily obtained an even bigger benefit, decreasing their risk by 73%.
Lead researcher Robert Grant, at the J. David Gladstone Institutes at the University of California-San Francisco, a non-profit research foundation that did the study says “This is a huge step forward.”
David Paltiel of Yale University says that Truvada might be cost-effective a prevention method, shown in his research. New enthusiasm in a field has been bred by the findings. In three decades, 40 million people have been infected by HIV. In 2010 alone, researchers have shown a pill and a vaginal gel can treat HIV and a vaccine could work.
Alan Bernstein, head of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, a non-profit effort to accelerate vaccine research said “This is a very exciting, dynamic time in HIV prevention research. It couldn’t come at a better time. There’s clearly a growing realization that we’re not going to be able to treat our way out of this epidemic.” Researchers expect to decide whether Truvada is also useful in heterosexuals and drug users.