In a major breakthrough in HIV research reported this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers have discovered that taking a daily retroviral pill dramatically reduced chances of infection.
The study of 2,500 gay men in six countries found that of those who took the pill every day, the medicine was 90 percent effective in preventing infection.
The study, known as iPrEx, was conducted by Gladstone Institutes and the University of California, San Francisco.
The antiretroviral pill, Truvada, is already widely available by prescription. The finding was praised because it puts the responsibility for prevention in the hands of individuals, and not their sex partners who may not want to use condoms. It’s also good news for those who lose their inhibitions while drunk or using drugs and may fail to use a condom.
It’s a form of protection “that does not involve getting permission from the other partner, and that’s important,” Phill Wilson, president of the Black AIDS Institute, told the New York Times.