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ATLANTA (AP) – Experts are calling it a breakthrough for Africa in its effort to fight back against AIDS.

Two studies in Africa have found that an AIDS drug that was already shown to help prevent the spread of the virus in gay men also works for heterosexual men and women.

The drug is Truvada, which is already on pharmacy shelves to treat people with HIV. It’s made by a California company, Gilead Sciences.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which gave advice last fall for use of the drug among gays, is now developing guidance for heterosexuals in the United States.

But health officials around the world say it still isn’t clear what the impact of the drug will be. They say it’s not clear just how many people would want to take a pill every day to reduce their risk of HIV infection. And they wonder if it would make people become more sexually reckless.

Another issue is supply. The World Health Organization says 6.6 million people in Africa are now on AIDS drugs, but 9 million who are eligible for the treatment are on a waiting list.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comment on this Story

  • melissa

    does it only work on straight people. how does the pill know if your straight, gay, or bi. and why arent they part of the study. straight people arent the only ones that suffer from this disease, aids has no bias on who it infects, why should the cure

  • Guest1956

    It never ceases to amaze me the effort people expend in order to show their ignorance and even more their willingness to demonstrate that fact to the world. All you need is a keyboard and internet access. I would attempt to explain how a clinical trial is conducted and why your comments are so ludicrous, but I am absolutely positive you would not understand. “It’s better to be silent and thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt” Abraham Lincoln.

  • Guest468213

    Read the second paragraph for your answer………….it’s the virus the pill goes after, it doesn’t care about the sexual orientation of the person taking it…it’s universal like a condom and doesn’t know/care if you’re gay or straight. If you use it, it (supposedly) works; if you don’t then…………………..

  • Das Weibstück

    So you expect people to remember to take a pill everyday? Wouldnt a condom be cheaper and safer? I doubt this will help in the spread, people who practice unsafe sex do it out of a lack of concern for themselves and others.

  • Guest461

    …to simply call someone a “dumba$$”. You must be a legend in your own mind…

    It wouldn’t hurt you a bit to closely analyze Lincoln’s quote you provided us! It seems to me that YOU are the one that doesn’t understand.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    …but there are a LOT of variables that impact the mechanism of infection and have to be considered before this study gets a stamp of approval.

    We know that uncircumcised men contract HIV at a greater rate than circumcised men. If this study was conducted in an area where Judeo-Christian beliefs are mostly absent, that could influence the results.

    We know that an unifected woman has a one-hundred times greater likelihood of being infected by an HIV positive male than an unifected male has of being infected by an HIV positive female – the ratio of men to women in the study could sway the results.

    Different cultures engage in different sexual activities and that could affect the results. (That’s what I believe she was alluding to.)

    Since HIV is a retro-virus, the length of the study would definitely impact the efficacy of the medication over the long term.

    All in all, we have a LONGGGGGG way to go before people should start celebrating and letting their guard down.


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