A new tablet Truvada, made by Pharmaceutical Company Gilead Sciences, can prevent HIV virus transmission, according to a study published in Lancet, a medical journal.
The participants in 2014's International AIDS Conference rejoiced and welcomed the new pill that is said to prevent transmission of HIV Virus. Referring to the new advances (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP), Dr Luiz Loures, deputy director of the United Nation's AIDS agency, UNAIDS, said, "We now know that treatment, in addition to saving lives, may become a major tool in terms of preventing the expansion of the AIDS expansion. Starting early can "play a major role in the journey towards the end of the epidemic."
Tablet Truvada (a combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine), made by Gilead Sciences has recorded a success rate of 75 per cent in preventing HIV transmission. Explaining PrEP's role in fighting Aids, James Rooney, who works with the Gilead Sciences, said, "It's a strategy that uses HIV drugs that are oftentimes used for treatment, but in this case, the drugs are actually given to individuals who are at high risk for becoming infected."
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the use of the drug among homosexuals is likely to avert 1 million infections over a decade. The numbers will increase if heterosexuals too adopt the drug. However, Truvada is an expensive drug, costing approximately $1,300 for a month's course.
Not all are supportive of the new drug that can go a long way in the battle against AIDS. AIDS activist Gus Cairns is of the opinion that those who do not have AIDS will be reluctant to use the drug, and will in turn be more comfortable using condoms. Cairns thinks that PrEP will gain recognition only slowly and is not likely to create any "revolution."
According to Brian Kanyemba, a researcher working with the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation in South Africa; the use of condoms has significantly decreased. With more than six million people infected with the HIV Virus, Kanyemba feels that the new drug might help people in Africa, which has the highest number of people suffering from HIV/AIDS.