Truvada Proves Effective in HIV Prevention

Researchers have wanted to take a closer look into how and why progress has been made in the battle against HIV. Antiretroviral therapy has helped to lower the viral load for thousands of HIV-positive patients, and life expectancy has also increased dramatically in recent years. Most of this is thanks to Truvada, but medical researchers worry that overconfidence in the therapy might promote an increase in unsafe sexual behavior. Researchers questioned whether patients using Truvada might feel so protected that they would exhibit riskier practices.

Truvada can be used as a protection for those at risk for infection, as well as for treating an existing one. Clinical studies conducted over the last few years looked into the effectiveness of the drug, and discovered that risk of infection was reduced by nearly 90%. While researchers were happy with these findings, they wanted to be sure that this effectiveness did not become a false sense of security for those taking it. This type of behavior is known as risk compensation.

Trials were designed to determine how sexual behaviors changed before and after taking Truvada. 2500 people participated in the trial. Half received Truvada, and the other half a placebo. There was no observed increase in risky behavior. Contrary to what they expected, infections continued decreasing. Researchers believe that the counseling and education that accompanied the therapy helped to increase awareness. This type of education continues to be encouraged, as does the use of Truvada. Overall, scientists are pleased with the positive results so far seen by this pioneer drug treatment. It has proven to be effective without increasing risky sexual behavior in those taking it.