Research finds a pricey drug drastically reduces HIV infections

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A major study shows for the first time that a drug duo widely used to treat the AIDS virus can block HIV infection, researchers said Wednesday.

The drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine, packaged as a once-daily pill and sold in drugstores as Truvada, reduced HIV infections by an average of 44% among gay and bisexual men who took the drug, compared with those taking a placebo. Men who reported being the most diligent about taking their pill each day reaped an even bigger benefit, reducing their risk by 73%.

“This is a huge step forward,” says lead researcher Robert Grant, at the J. David Gladstone Institute at the University of California-San Francisco, a non-profit research foundation that carried out the study.

David Paltiel of Yale University says that his research shows that Truvada could be as cost-effective a prevention method as those used to combat heart disease diabetes and cancer, despite its $8,700 annual cost.

Full story: HIV drug gives hope for prevention

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