Daily Injection of Common Antiretroviral Drugs Found To Protect Monkeys From HIV, Study Says
A daily injection of two commonly used antiretroviral drugs was found to protect monkeys from becoming infected by simian HIV, according to a CDC study presented Monday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Denver, Reuters reports. Walid Heneine, a researcher at the agency, looked at rhesus monkeys that were injected with a version of Gilead Sciences' antiretroviral therapy Truvada -- which contains Viread, also known as tenofovir, and Emtriva, or emtracitibine. The monkeys then were exposed to SHIV daily for 14 days. The six monkeys that received daily antiretroviral injections did not acquire SHIV, while the nine that did not receive any injections all developed the virus. "Study authors believe the findings may be the strongest animal data yet suggesting that potent antiretrovirals given before HIV exposure may prevent sexual HIV transmission," a CDC statement said. However, researchers said that the drug doses given to the monkeys were different from the regimen commonly given to HIV-positive people and that further studies will determine how the findings pertain to humans (Fox, Reuters, 2/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.