The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that people at high risk for infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, take a pill daily to reduce their risk:
For years the message was simple: Use condoms to prevent HIV. But if you are at high risk of contracting the virus, health experts want you to consider an additional strategy — taking a pill every day to reduce your chance of being infected.
New guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, should be taken daily by people who are at high risk for contracting HIV.
The recommendation is based on several large national and international studies, which were done in varying at-risk populations, such as gay and bisexual men, heterosexual couples where one person is HIV-positive (the other is not) and injection drug users.
The studies all showed that this drug can help reduce infection rates by more than 90% when taken daily.
“While a vaccine or cure may one day end the HIV epidemic, PrEP is a powerful tool that has the potential to alter the course of the U.S. HIV epidemic today,” Dr.Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, said in a statement.