Heterosexuals who take daily AIDS drugs reduce the risk of being infected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by nearly two-thirds, ground-breaking studies said on Wednesday. Campaigners hailed what they described as a powerful new weapon in the three-decade war against AIDS.
“This is a major scientific breakthrough which reconfirms the essential role that antiretroviral medicine has to play in the AIDS response,” Michel Sidibe, executive director of the UN agency UNAIDS said. “These studies could help us to reach the tipping point in the HIV epidemic.”
A trial called Partners PrEP, conducted by the University of Washington, followed 4,758 “sero-discordant” heterosexual couples — in which one person had HIV and the other was uninfected — in Kenya and Uganda.