Using AIDS drugs to prevent infection: a bargain?

CHICAGO Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:17pm EDT

School children make an AIDS logo during the preparation for the World AIDS Day program at a school in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh November 29, 2006. REUTERS/Ajay Verma

School children make an AIDS logo during the preparation for the World AIDS Day program at a school in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh November 29, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Ajay Verma

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Giving an AIDS-fighting drug to men who are at high risk of HIV infection would cost billions, but it might be worth it terms of reducing infection rates, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

Since 2010, when a landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that giving a daily dose of Gilead Sciences' Truvada to men who have sex with men can reduce HIV infection rates by 44 percent, researchers have been trying to work out how to make this treatment approach financially feasible.

Gilead is seeking permission for Truvada -- a combination of its HIV drugs Emtriva, also known as emtricitabine, and Viread, or tenofovir -- to be used as a form of "pre-exposure prophylaxis," often shortened to PrEP.

The drug is already approved to treat people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS.

A prior study found that giving Truvada to all men who have sex with men -- who account for more than half of the estimated 56,000 new infections annually in the United States -- was too costly.

The latest study from a team at Stanford University estimates that giving a daily preventive dose of the drug to all U.S. men who have sex with men would cost $495 billion over 20 years in terms of the cost of drugs and healthcare visits, the team reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

And giving the drug to healthy men to prevent a future infection might come at the expense of treating people who are already infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, they said.

Instead, the team looked specifically at men who are high risk of developing HIV -- those who have five or more sexual partners a year.

If just 20 percent of these high-risk individuals took the drug it could prevent 41,000 new infections over a period of 20 years, at a cost of about $16.6 billion during that period, the team found.

By targeting this high-risk group, the team estimates the treatment could prevent twice as many infections as it could if given to 20 percent of the general population of men who have sex with men, and it would offer a better value.

"Use in high-risk men who have sex with men would provide substantial health benefits at a lower cost, although the budgetary effect would still be sizeable," Jessie Juusola, a PhD. candidate at Stanford, and colleagues wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The team said the findings can help shape doctors and policymakers' decisions about which patients should get the drug.

An estimated 1.2 million Americans have HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In preliminary guidelines issued last year, the CDC said only high-risk gay and bisexual men should use a daily AIDS pill to protect themselves from the virus.

An FDA advisory panel is expected to consider in mid-May whether to allow use of the drug as a way to prevent HIV infection in healthy people.

(Reporting By Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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Comments (2)
umojaresearch wrote:
Truvada is another supposed AIDS/HIV Cocktail, which has the capacity to destroy your Liver and Kidneys and some people believe it to be a new miracle drug.

Most of the AIDS/HIV drugs are designed to do the same thing as AIDS/HIV and that is to destroy your immune system. The idea is to destroy the “T-Cells” so the virus has nothing to destroy, a really not too bright idea, in my opinion. You need your immune system to fight all foreign invaders that enter your body.

Truvada is considered dangerous, not only because the side affects destroy other body functions such as the Liver and Kidneys, but also there is no real proof it works. Other concerns are people who can afford the $13,000.00 a year product may believe it works and abuse it.

Generally drug companies will try to show their failing products have other benefits, so they can continue sales. So it looks as though these supposed other values make it worth while to keep on the market.

One of the main reasons High Risk AIDS/HIV patients have so many problems is because of the nature of the virus. The disease is generally specific to the person who has it, which means it hides and replicates in your specific DNA and no two people have the same DNA. No two people when tested will have the same exact virus and those who have multiple partners are generally at higher risk because they contract different variations of the disease from their different partners. This complicates their health with the various strains working against their immune system faster than it can produce T-Cells to overcome multiple problems.

Virologist have already proved this animal retrovirus was forced across the species barrier of animals into human tissue culture cells to be created. So for any drug company to destroy AIDS/HIV, they would have to design it to your DNA, or be able to destroy the real mechanism of the disease which is a protease enzyme essential for the life-cycle of AIDS/HIV. Although many of the AIDS/HIV Drugs have synthetic substitutes trying to destroy this enzyme, scientists fail to realize the body is organic and does not respond well to synthetics.

The drug Truvada is no exception to the rules of the human body and the fact that it has a negative impact on other body functions, especially the Liver, only proves it may be too dangerous for human consumption.

1. DVD, The Strecker Memorandum, this video is a complete explanation of AIDS/HIV
2. Book, Some Call it AIDS I Call It Murder, Dr. Eva Sneed
3. Book, AIDS And the Doctors of Death: An Inquiry into the Origin of the AIDS Epidemic, Dr. Alan Cantwell Jr.
4. This Is A Bio-Attack Alert, March 28, 1986, by Attorney Theodore A. Strecker, this document submitted to every U.S. Govt. agency, with complete reference list of AIDS creation, how spread and action the U.S. Govt. should take to protect its Citizens.
5. Strecker Group Reference List, a complete list of reference to all AIDS/HIV scientific papers used to produce film The Strecker Memorandum. List mailed with every video sold by the Strecker Group
6. Book, Dangerous Drug Interactions, Joe Graedon, Sifu Teresa Graedon

Apr 16, 2012 9:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gregbrew56 wrote:
Aren’t condoms a LOT cheaper, and more effective? Use them. Every time.

Apr 17, 2012 6:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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