Studies show promise for HIV prevention drug


(AP) — Exciting research suggests a shot every one to three months might someday give an alternative to the daily pills some people take now to cut their risk of getting HIV.

The experimental drug has only been tested for prevention in monkeys, but it completely protected them from infection in two studies reported at an AIDS conference Tuesday.

“This is the most exciting innovation in the field of HIV prevention that I’ve heard recently,” said Dr. Robert Grant, an AIDS expert at the Gladstone Institutes, a foundation affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco.

“Both groups are showing 100 percent protection” with the drug, Grant said of the two groups of researchers. “If it works and proves to be safe, it would allow for HIV to be prevented with periodic injections, perhaps every three months.”

Until a vaccine is developed, condoms are the best way to prevent infection with the AIDS virus and many other sexually spread diseases. But not everyone uses them, or does so all the time, so public health officials pursued other prevention options.

 

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