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WHO’S PAYING?

HOW WOULD EFFORTS TO PREVENT HIV INFECTION WITH DRUGS BE FUNDED?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

A two drug combination of anti-HIV drugs largely prevented transmission of the virus to men at risk, a study of over 2000 men reported recently in the New England Journal of Medicine found.  Yet such a regimen is quite expensive, says Joel Gallant, an HIV expert at Johns Hopkins, especially in light of so many infected people unable to afford treatment.  And there are other concerns, he says.

GALLANT: I’m optimistic about the science of this study, it’s a very important study.  It may perhaps have more implications in the developing world than it does here.  I’m a little more pessimistic about the implementation.  Get it paid for, insure that they doctors prescribing it understand these drugs and the potential for resistance.  We do worry about resistance, if the drugs were to fail and you were to develop HIV despite taking the drugs, if people continue to take the drugs not knowing they’d been infected that would increase the resistance.     :29

The study does show that prophylaxis against the virus does work, and that’s good news, Gallant says.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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