According to HealthDay News, two recent studies in Africa have shown antiretroviral drugs are effective in preventing the spread of HIV in heterosexuals. The trials were conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with the help of the Botswana Ministry of Health, and the University of Washington’s Partners PrEP study.

HealthDay News says the most recent study done by CDC involved 1,219 HIV-negative men and women who were given either a daily dose of Truvada (a pill that combines tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine) or a placebo pill for 30 days. Additionally, all participants were given HIV prevention resources such as free condoms and risk reduction counseling. Results showed that those taking Truvada had a 62.6% risk reduction rate, increasing to 77.9% if the participant continued taking the pill after the trial.

The Partners PrEP study, conducted by the University of Washington and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, was put to a quick rest due to its early indications that the pill prevented the spread of HIV, HealthDay News reports. The study included 4,758 couples with one HIV-positive partner. At random assignment, each couple received Viread (single drug), Truvada (combination drug), or a placebo. Results proved those taking Viread had a risk reduction rate of 62%, while those taking Truvada had a 73% reduction, compared to the placebo.

Kevin Fenton, Director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, says there is strong evidence of this prevention strategy within these two new studies. HealthDay News says the CDC will continue the use of antiretroviral drugs for those at risk for HIV.

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