Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




EPIDEMICS
HIV regimen prevents infection among drug users
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) June 12, 2013


Giving injecting drug users a daily pill against HIV nearly halved their risk of infection by the AIDS virus, a pioneering study published on Thursday said.

The four-year research strengthens convictions that antiretroviral drugs can prevent HIV infection, rather than simply treat the virus after someone has been infected, it said.

Thai and US doctors recruited 2,411 volunteers who were attending drug-treatment clinics in Bangkok.

At the start of the study, the participants used injecting drugs and did not have the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The volunteers were divided into two groups: one took a daily dose of tenofovir, a frontline HIV drug; the other took a dummy pill called a placebo.

Both groups were offered monthly testing for HIV, condoms, counselling and methadone treatment to wean them off opiate drugs.

By the end of the four years, 17 had become infected in the tenofovir group, and 33 in the placebo group.

This amounted to an average reduction in infection risk of 48.9 percent among tenofovir takers. But it rose to more than 70 percent among those who adhered most closely to the daily pill-taking.

The probe found no evidence of viral resistance nor of any serious side effects from taking tenofovir.

The study, published online in The Lancet, is the latest demonstration that so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, can shield groups badly at risk from HIV, said the authors.

Previous research has found PrEP helps to prevent transmission of HIV among gays and among "discordant" heterosexual couples, where one partner had the virus and other was not infected. It also reduces the risk that an infected mother will hand on HIV to her baby.

"This is a significant step forward for HIV prevention. We now know that PrEP can work for all populations at increased risk for HIV," said Jonathan Mermin of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which funded the study alongside the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and Thai Ministry of Health.

"Injection drug use accounts for a substantial portion of the HIV epidemic around the world, and we are hopeful that PrEP can play a role in reducing the continued toll."

According to UNAIDS, 34 million people were living with HIV in 2011. That year, 2.5 million people became newly infected, around 10 percent of which was probably caused by drug use.

In some countries in eastern Europe and central Asia, more than 80 percent of all HIV infections are due to drug use.

Transmission can occur through shared needles or syringes, or if a drug user resorts to commercial sex to get money for drugs.

Analysts said the results were encouraging but noted that, as the study progressed, fewer and fewer of the volunteers remained addicted to drugs and were less likely to engage in other risky behaviour.

Incarceration of some volunteers also made it likelier they would follow the drug regimen and counselling, they added.

This raises some questions as to how effective PrEP would be in real life, they said.

Salim Abdool Karim of South Africa's CAPRISA AIDS science centre said PrEP could only be "part of a combination" of techniques that included needle exchange, methadone initiatives and safe-sex counselling -- programmes that in some countries are politically sensitive.

Daniel Wolfe, director of the International Harm Reduction Development Programme at the Open Society Foundations, pointed to the problem of criminalising drug users.

He asked how PrEP could be implemented in countries "whose authorities routinely arrest, detain or stigmatize people who inject drugs."

"(...) Unless countries do more to build trust or willingness to work with people who inject drugs, health services will not be able to deliver medicines in this way," he said by email from a conference in Vilnius, Lithuania on HIV and drug users.

.


Related Links
Epidemics on Earth - Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EPIDEMICS
Cost-effective: HIV tests for all in India
Providence RI (SPX) Jun 12, 2013
In India most people who are HIV positive don't know it, yet testing and treatment are relatively cheap and available. It would therefore meet international standards of cost-effectiveness - and save millions of lives for decades - to test every person in the billion-plus population every five years according to a new study published in the journal PLoS One. The findings are based on a car ... read more


EPIDEMICS
Sandbags and raw nerves as flood peak hits Germany

More radioactive leaks reported at Fukushima plant

Japan disaster cash spent on counting turtles: report

Agreement over Statue of Liberty security screening

EPIDEMICS
Sony eyes long game despite console launch triumph

Two New Russian Radars to Start Work Next Year

Sony wins opening skirmish in new-gen console war

Study: Moving business software to cloud promises big energy savings

EPIDEMICS
AU urges Egypt and Ethiopia to hold talks on Nile row

Unfrozen mystery: H2O reveals a new secret

Chagos Islanders lose UK marine park challenge

Egypt eyes Nile deal with Ethiopia

EPIDEMICS
Ancient trapped water explains Earth's first ice age

US senators urge Obama to block Alaska mine

Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic

NASA's IceBridge Mission Contributes to New Map of Antarctica

EPIDEMICS
How does inbreeding avoidance evolve in plants

How do you feed nine billion people

China approves imports of GM soybean from Brazil

Biotech crops vs. pests: Successes and failures from the first billion acres

EPIDEMICS
Merkel urges greater flood protection as tours region

Germany begins to count cost as floods surge north

Merkel visits flooded region as Hungary waters recede

Earthquake acoustics can indicate if a massive tsunami is imminent

EPIDEMICS
First pictures of Algeria's Bouteflika since mini-stroke

Gunfire at paramilitary barracks in Niger capital: residents

'Scorched earth' tactics in Sudan's Blue Nile: Amnesty

Rwandan general to command Mali UN force

EPIDEMICS
Weapons testing data determines brain makes new neurons into adulthood

World's 'oldest woman' dies in China: family

Geneticist speculates humans could have big eyes, foreheads in future

How similar are the gestures of apes and human infants? More than you might suspect




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement