Drug may protect injection drug abusers from HIV

June 13, 2013 at 12:18 AM
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ATLANTA, June 13 (UPI) -- The medication tenofovir, or Viread, taken once a day may prevent HIV transmission among injection drug users, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Michael Martin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said a randomized, phase III trial of injection drugs users in Bangkok found daily tenofovir reduced the risk of human immunodeficiency virus by nearly half compared with a placebo, MedPage Today reported.

The study, published in The Lancet, showed daily tenofovir reduced HIV transmission in injecting drug users and it should be considered as an additional prevention method for people at high risk for HIV from infection.

The researchers enrolled 2,413 volunteers ages 20-60 who were HIV-negative and reported injecting drugs within the previous 12 months -- from 17 drug-treatment clinics in Bangkok.

Study participants were randomly assigned either tenofovir or placebo and followed for an average of four years. They were also offered condoms and methadone treatment and got monthly HIV testing, combined with risk-reduction and adherence counseling and blood safety tests every three months.

Those in the trial who received the drug reduced HIV incidence by half, the study said.

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