Daily-dose HIV drugs fail in Africa: research
AFPWASHINGTON--Daily doses of drugs or vaginal gels have proven ineffective at preventing HIV infections in southern Africa, a study out Monday revealed, saying most of the women failed to use them as directed.
March 6, 2013, 12:34 am TWN
“Although there may be other explanations for why these products don't always work to prevent HIV, it's hard to ignore the fact that that so few women in our study used them,” said Jeanne Marrazzo, who reported the results from more than 5,000 women in 15 trial sites in Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe at a conference in Atlanta.
Blood tests detected the medication was present in fewer than a third of the study participants assigned to take an oral dose of Truvada or tenofovir antiretroviral drugs, and in less than a quarter assigned to apply the tenofovir as a gel.
And the women least likely to take the drugs as directed were unmarried women under 25 — the women at highest risk of HIV infection.
“Clearly, an approach of daily product use is not going to work for the population of women who participated in VOICE,” she said, referring to the study that had been dubbed “Vaginal and Oral Interventions to Control the Epidemic.”
Previous clinical trials, among other population sectors, had shown that a daily dose of Truvada or tenofovir works well to the risk of HIV infection.
But even highly effective drug treatments will fail if they aren't used, emphasized fellow researcher Zvavahera Mike Chirenje of the University of Zimbabwe in Harare.