June 12th, 2013
06:01 PM ET
Antiviral drugs help prevent HIV infection in IV drug users
Treating intravenous drug users with antiviral drugs may reduce their chances of HIV infection, according to a new study published Wednesday in the British medical journal The Lancet.
The Bangkok Tenofovir Study was done in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2005-2013. It was run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the Thailand Ministry of Public Health.
Researchers recruited more than 24,000 people at 17 sites. Half took the pill tenofovir - an antiretroviral drug - daily, while the other half got a placebo. Participants were followed for about four years. Researchers found those taking the drug cut their chances of infection by 49% almost in half - approximately 49%.
This is not the first study to prove that PrEP - pre-exposure prophylaxis - is effective in reducing HIV transmission in high risk groups. Studies have already been done in heterosexuals as well as gay and bisexual men. But according to the CDC, this is the first study of its kind to prove effective in reducing rates among those who inject drugs.
“This study completes the picture of PrEP efficacy for all major HIV risk groups," said Dr. Michael Martin, chief of clinical research for the Thailand Ministry of Public Health-CDC collaboration. "We now know that pre-exposure prophylaxis can be a potentially vital option for HIV prevention in people at very high risk for infection, whether through sexual transmission or injecting drug use.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, "The real important advance here is the proof of concept that in yet another high risk group - IV-drug users - pre-exposure prophylaxis can work if the individuals adhere to taking the drug."
The study found that the reduction rate for those who took their daily dose routinely was even higher - 74%.
“Adherence was a key factor determining efficacy in our trial among people who inject drugs, as it has been in previous PrEP trials examining sexual transmission,” said Martin. “These results underscore the importance of helping people using pre-exposure prophylaxis achieve effective levels of adherence.”
It can often be difficult to directly attribute the antiviral drug's protective effect on people who get infected by injecting drugs, said Salim Karim, professor and director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. That's because, he says, some IV drug users engage in risky behavior such as prostitution to support their drug habit.
“Even though questions remain about the extent to which PrEP can be effective in preventing either of the routes of transmission in this group, the overall result is that daily tenofovir does reduce HIV transmission in injecting drug users," Karim said. "The introduction of PrEP for HIV prevention in injecting drug users should be considered as an additional component to accompany other proven prevention strategies like needle exchange programmes, methadone programmes, promotion of safer sex and injecting practices, condoms, and HIV counseling and testing.”
UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, called the study results a complement to other PrEP trials released over the past few years.
“Piece by piece, scientific advances are paving the way to the end of the AIDS epidemic,” said Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS executive director. “The full potential of antiretroviral therapy in keeping people alive and well and in preventing new HIV infections is becoming apparent. The results of this study are important, and if used effectively in HIV programming, could have a significant impact in protecting people who inject drugs from becoming infected with HIV.”
So far, all evidence suggests PrEP is safe and effective for reducing the risk of HIV infection in high-risk populations, and there have been no concerns regarding its use daily, the CDC says.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
This is a topic that's near to my heart... Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?
Everyone loves it when folks get together and share views. Great site, keep it up!
Having read this I believed it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!
Very good post! We are linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.
Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post. Thanks for providing this info.
I was more than happy to uncover this website. I wanted to thank you for ones time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff on your website.
Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and also the rest of the site is also very good.
Topamax 24 hour pharmacy amoxicillin canadian pharmacy
Great article! We are linking to this great content on our site. Keep up the good writing.
list of trusted canadian pharmacies cheap drugs nw pharmacy canada
An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who was conducting a little research on this. And he actually ordered me lunch due to the fact that I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this matter here on your web page.
cialis vs. viagra originalcialis how long for cialis to take effect
Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!
canadian pharmacy online canada zolpidem canada pharmacy optimal rx pharmacy
Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes that make the most significant changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!
You are so awesome! I do not believe I've truly read anything like this before. So great to discover somebody with a few original thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is one thing that's needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!
An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you should publish more on this subject, it might not be a taboo subject but usually folks don't speak about these subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!
online cialis no prescription generic cialis cheap buy cialis online with paypal
I could not resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!
Iím impressed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog thatís both equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I found this in my hunt for something regarding this.
Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!
Good post. I am dealing with some of these issues as well..
Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.
You should be a part of a contest for one of the best websites on the web. I will highly recommend this blog!
You have made some good points there. I checked on the internet for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.
An interesting discussion is worth comment. I believe that you should publish more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but usually folks don't discuss such topics. To the next! All the best!!