Anti-viral blue pill stopping spread of AIDS-causing virus: study

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An anti-viral pill introduced in Australia to combat HIV cases has set a new record by reducing the number of reported AIDS-causing virus cases, reported Bloomberg.

According to the world’s first study that measured the impact of Truvada pill by Gilead Science Inc, a significant low has been witnessed in new cases of HIV among gay and bisexual men.

Use of this pill has sprung hopes to counter cases of HIV infections in the future.

Results of the pill have been grabbing attention and may cause other countries to use pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP treatment method.

Head of HIV epidemiology and prevention at Kirby Institute of the University of New South Wales Andrew Grulich maintained that “the speed of decline we’ve seen in new HIV infections in gay and bisexual men is a world first”.

Grulich vouched that the numbers have been at a bare minimum since HIV surveillance began in 1985.

Progress against the AIDS-causing virus over the last decade and a half has led UN member states to become more committed to the cause of ending the epidemic by 2030.

The number of newly affected people diagnosed with the disease has dropped to 1.8 million in 2017 globally. In the 1990s, however, this figure was recorded at 3 million per annum. Although the results of the study cannot be replicated to heterosexual populations, Grulich commented that PrEP is a high cost-effective method in high-risk patients.

In Australia’s New South Wales, the number of new registered cases were 102 in the first year of the study as opposed to 194 infections reported in the previous year.

The number of people consuming Truvada for PrEP in the United States were 180,000 at the end of July.

The pill is blue and oval-shaped and is a fixed dose combination of the drugs tenofovir, disoproxil and emtricitabine. Generic versions of the medicine made by other pharmaceutical companies have made it available for cheaper rates.

Gilead’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John F Milligan told the Morgan Stanley Global Health Care Conference last month of the positive effect borne by the use of Truvada. He further confirmed that in parts of the US with the highest uptake of PrEP has shown visible improvement in HIV infections.

This article originally appeared on Bloomberg.

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