7:40 am
Tue November 23, 2010

RI connection to HIV prevention study

Providence, RI – By MEGAN HALL
A Brown University professor is one of the lead researchers in a study that shows the possibility of preventing HIV with a pill.

Dr. Ken Mayer, a Brown professor and a physician at The Miriam Hospital, ran the Boston site for a study which showed a 44% reduction in HIV contraction among men who received daily antiretroviral drugs.

Mayer says the results were even better when study subjects remembered to take the medication regularly- up to around a 90% success rate.

"When people are adherent, there's a strong protective effect," Mayer says. "Probably not a 100 percent. But certainly the strongest preventive effect we've seen with any bio medical intervention to date."

Mayer says this finding is a potential game changer in the field of HIV prevention. He says the daily medications would be most effective for individuals who are at a high risk of contracting the virus, and if implemented effectively, the pills could prevent several tens of thousands of new HIV cases a year in the United States.

More details
Take a look at the study in the New England Journal of Medicine here

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