Author Topic: Giving HIV medicine to both members of a couple reduces the risk of transmission  (Read 141 times)

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Giving out HIV medication to both members of a couple when only one of them is HIV-positive could lower the risk of transmission, a new study has found. It serves to reiterate the benefits of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for people at risk of infection – in this case the HIV-negative partner.

PrEP is a preventive treatment that involves people who are at very high risk for HIV taking a combination of two HIV medicines, sold under the name Truvada, on a daily basis.

Truvada for PrEP has been shown to provide a 92%-99% reduction in HIV risk for HIV-negative individuals who take the pills daily as instructed. In the case of HIV-serodiscordant couples – when only one person is HIV-positive – the method could be crucial to avoid the virus spreading further.

Although sexually active homosexual men are often the primary targets of PrEP, since they tend to have a higher risk of getting infected, the focus of this particular study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, was on heterosexual couples.

The researchers' aim was to test the feasibility and acceptability of a program offering antiretroviral medications to both members of couples. The researchers wanted to check whether transmission rates were lowered when the HIV-negative individual received PrEP in parallel to the HIV-positive member receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) to fight the disease.


 

 

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