Medicine helps prevent HIV

Two different studies recently found that an AIDS drug taken daily can cut a person's risk for HIV by more than half, according to The Washington Post. This marks a new sign of hope in the fight against the disease. The medication has already helped save millions of lives, but now researchers believe that it could be a tool in preventing AIDS transmission altogether.

"These results are fundamentally important for HIV prevention," Jared Baeten, a physician at the University of Washington who co-directed the study – which was based in Kenya and Uganda – told the publication. "Our biggest challenge now is how do we move from research to getting things out to the general public where they’re most needed."

The subjects who participated in the experiment were also instructed to use condoms, which The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say are also effective in reducing the risk of becoming infected with HIV and common STDs alike.

In Botswana, 1,219 men and women were split into groups. One took a placebo and another took Truvada, one of the drugs being studied. Afterward, nine participants who were on a daily regimen of Truvada became infected, compared to 24 who were taking the placebo. That signals a 63 percent lower chance of getting HIV among those who took the medicine.

Overall, the risk of contracting the illness among people taking Tuvada seemed to be 73 percent lower. Men and women showed equal results.

AIDS is an international problem and can often prove fatal. Knowing how to use a condom is thought to be paramount to protection, as well as other safer sex practices. Avert.org estimates that there are more than one million people living with HIV in the United States. 

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