An antiviral pill taken daily by thousands of men across Sydney and other parts of Australia led to a globally unprecedented reduction in new HIV cases, reports Bloomberg, showing that a targeted, preventative approach might increase progress on ending the AIDS epidemic.
According to the world’s first study to measure the impact of Gilead Science Inc.’s Truvada pill on reducing the AIDS-causing virus in a large population, new cases of HIV among gay and bisexual men fell by almost a third. This is the lowest on record. The results may pave the way for other states and countries to stop transmission of the virus by using a treatment called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.
“The speed of the decline we’ve seen in new HIV infe
ctions in gay and bisexual men is a world first,” said study leader Andrew Grulich, head of HIV epidemiology and prevention at the Kirby Institute of the University of New South Wales, according to Bloomberg. “These numbers are the lowest on record since HIV surveillance began in 1985.”