. Space Travel News .




.
EPIDEMICS
AIDS: HIV drugs boost prevention hopes
by Staff Writers
Paris July 13, 2011

Heterosexuals who take daily AIDS drugs reduce the risk of being infected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by nearly two-thirds, ground-breaking studies said on Wednesday. Campaigners hailed what they described as a powerful new weapon in the three-decade war against AIDS. "This is a major scientific breakthrough which reconfirms the essential role that antiretroviral medicine has to play in the AIDS response," Michel Sidibe, executive director of the UN agency UNAIDS said. "These studies could help us to reach the tipping point in the HIV epidemic." A trial called Partners PrEP, conducted by the University of Washington, followed 4,758 "sero-discordant" heterosexual couples -- in which one person had HIV and the other was uninfected -- in Kenya and Uganda. The uninfected partner received either a dummy pill or a tablet containing either the HIV drug tenofovir or a combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine. In the group receiving tenofovir, there were 62 percent fewer infections compared with the placebo group. In the tenofovir/emtricitabine group, there were 73 percent fewer infections over counterparts taking the placebo. The results were so remarkable that safety monitors recommended the probe be stopped early, for to continue it would have been unethical. The second trial, conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), followed 1,219 uninfected men and women in Botswana who received either placebo or the tenofovir/emtricitabine combination. Those who received the antiretroviral pill reduced the risk of HIV infection by 63 percent compared with the placebo group. They are the first trials to show that so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, can work among heterosexuals. Last November a study, conducted among sero-discordant homosexual men, found a reduction of 44 percent in risk among uninfected partners who took HIV drugs. In contrast, a smaller-scale trial, whose preliminary results were published earlier this year, found that PrEP did not protect heterosexual women. In May, a big study conducted among sero-discordant heterosexual couples in Africa showed early use of drugs by the infected partner slashed the risk of transmitting HIV to the other partner by 96 percent. Put together, these trials add massively to the argument that the world's AIDS pandemic can be slowed by wider distribution of antiretrovirals, said activists. "These results are tremendously exciting and confirm that we are at pivotal period," said Mitchell Warren, executive director of US advocacy group AVAC. "Now is the time to include ARV-based prevention in national plans, applications to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and donor priorities. "(...) We need ambitious pilot and demonstration projects to guide programmatic design, along with national and international guidance on how best to use ARVs (antiretrovirals) as lifesaving prevention tools," he said. The International AIDS Society, which is hosting a major conference in Rome from Sunday, said data from the two trials was "compelling" and "adds to the cascade of evidence." But it also highlighted the looming debate about using drugs designed for treatment in the role of prevention. Antiretrovirals are the famous "cocktail" of drugs, first introduced in 1996, that helped turn the tide against AIDS. They suppress HIV in the body but do not eradicate it completely. As a result, they reduce the risk of infection through contact with body fluids, although they are not a cure and taking them can carry inflict toxic side effects. In addition, there is a potentially hefty financial cost if the pills are taken daily for prevention, although the price has fallen to as little as 25 US cents per tablet. The "treatment as prevention" strategy has risen alongside male circumcision as new options in the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, which has claimed around 30 million lives over the past three decades. More than 33 million people are living with the AIDS virus, according to estimates for 2009 released last year by UNAIDS.



Related Links
Epidemics on Earth - Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
...
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries






. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle



EPIDEMICS
Licensing deal to boost HIV drug access
London (AFP) July 12, 2011
US pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences will allow generic drug makers to copy four HIV medicines under a deal announced Tuesday to give people in poor countries access to cheaper AIDS treatment. The HIV medicines tenofovir and emtricitabine, as well as two drugs still in clinical development, cobicistat and elvitegravir, will be manufactured in low-cost copycat form under a licensing agree ... read more


EPIDEMICS
Final Soyuz launcher integration is underway for Arianespace Globalstar mission from Kazakhstan

Arianespace to launch THOR 7 satellite for Telenor

Space X Dragon Spacecraft Returns To Florida

Arianespace Launch Postponed At Least 20 Days

EPIDEMICS
Two Possible Sites for Next Mars Rover

Scientists uncover evidence of a wet Martian past in desert

NASA Research Offers New Prospect Of Water On Mars

New Animation Depicts Next Mars Rover in Action

EPIDEMICS
Marshall Center's Bassler Leads NASA Robotic Lander Work

NASA puts space probe into lunar orbit

ARTEMIS Spacecraft Prepare for Lunar Orbit

LRO Showing Us the Moon as Never Before

EPIDEMICS
Clocking The Spin of Neptune

Scientist accurately gauges Neptune's spin

Williams and MIT Astronomers Observe Pluto and its Moons

SOFIA Successfully Observes Challenging Pluto Occultation

EPIDEMICS
Microlensing Finds a Rocky Planet

A golden age of exoplanet discovery

CoRoT's new detections highlight diversity of exoplanets

Rage Against the Dying of the Light

EPIDEMICS
PSLV-C17 to Launch GSAT-12 on July 15, 2011

Astrium signs up for Next Gen Launcher High Thrust Engine

NASA Will Compete Space Launch System (SLS) Boosters

Europe to build space re-entry vehicle

EPIDEMICS
China launches experimental satellite

China to launch an experimental satellite in coming days

China to launch new communication satellite

China's second moon orbiter Chang'e-2 goes to outer space

EPIDEMICS
First-Ever View of a Sungrazer Comet In Front of the Sun

Dawn Team Members Check out Spacecraft

Does Asteroid Vesta Have a Moon

Richard Binzel on near-Earth asteroids


Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
.

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement