The latest HIV treatment preliminary Phase 2 study, called Adapt, had unexpected results for about 500 participants in three countries. One of many released at the International AIDS Society conference this month in Vancouver, British Columbia, the study showed that most people daily taking Truvada drug were protected against HIV infection, even ones having regular unsafe sex.
Young women and men from Cape Town, Bangkok and Harlem have participated in the study, and they were all high-risk groups, highly vulnerable to viral exposure. Participants had regular blood tests. To make sure that they were taking the medicine, researchers used pill bottles that sent an electronic signal to monitors each time they were opened.
The results of the Adapt study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, were encouraging, according to Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as 76% of the African women taking the drug were shielded against HIV. Nevertheless, it remains crucial to treat H.I.V. patients as soon as possible after infection, to minimize the risk of health complications and also to prevent infecting others.
Nowadays, 15 million people are following anti-viral medication, but an additional two million get infected each year. As stated by the United Nations AIDS-fighting agency additional $12 billion is annually needed to control the epidemic.
At the same conference, researchers from the Pasteur Institute in Paris discussed about a teenager born with H.I.V. and on drugs from birth to age 6, when her parents stopped giving her the medicine. Off drugs for 12 years, her virus has not rebounded, although trace amounts persist. Although the signs are encouraging, experts said, this does not guarantee that without any treatment viral relapse will not occur again in the future.