BANGKOK – The regular use of AIDS drug ‘Tenofovir’ can help reduce the risk of HIV infection among injecting drug users, according to research conducted by the Thai government and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The two agencies, joined by US Ambassador to Thailand Kristie A Kenney, told a news conference that a daily dose of ‘Tenofovir’ can help prevent HIV infection by 49 per cent, while a regular dose of the drug can help reduce the risk by 74 per cent.
The study was started in 2005 by Thailand’s Dr Kajit Chupanya and Dr Michael Martinas from the CDC among 2,413 uninfected men and women using injectable drugs. It was part of the prevention of HIV infection project in Bangkok by using ‘Tenofovir’, scientifically known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).
The results were published online yesterday by the medical journal The Lancet.
Seventeen of 1,207 participants receiving Tenofovir became infected with HIV virus, while 33 of the other group of participants given placebo were infected.
A side-effect of using the drug is nausea.
“This translates to a 49 percent reduction in the risk of HIV infection among participants taking Tenofovir,” said Dr. Michael Martin, Chief of Clinical Research for the study from the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), Thailand’s Public Health Ministry and the CDC will apply the study’s results to further prevent HIV infection in Thailand