AirTalk for November 23, 2010

HIV treatment pill dramatically reduces infection risk

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Pills.

There’s big news in AIDS research today. A new study reveals that a pill used to treat people with HIV can also prevent infection. Scientists at San Francisco’s Gladstone Institutes found that daily doses of the drug Truvada, cut the risk of gay and bisexual men from getting HIV by almost 73%. The researchers, led by Dr Robert Grant, from the University of California at San Francisco, calculated that taking Truvada reduced the overall risk of HIV infection by around 44%. The findings are very promising, but more research is needed to see if this approach will work for women and IV drug users. Also, Truvada doesn’t come cheap. Treatment runs about $36 a day or $13,000 a year. Are we willing to pay that much to prevent people from being infected with HIV?

Guest:

Dr. Stephen Boswell, President and CEO of Fenway Health in Boston; where he is also a practicing physician and HIV/AIDS researcher


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