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UCSD To Launch Study On Whether Anti-HIV Pill Can Prevent Infection

Aired 4/17/12 on KPBS News.

A new UC San Diego study will test the viability of using an anti-HIV drug to prevent people at high risk from becoming infected.

— A new research project in San Diego will explore whether an anti-HIV pill can prevent people at high risk from becoming infected. The study will involve 400 men who have sex with other men.

Research has shown the daily use of a two-drug combination pill called Truvada can reduce the likelihood of HIV infection.

The new study will test whether text messaging to remind people to take the medicine will improve daily compliance.

UC San Diego's Dr. Richard Haubrich will head up the study. He admitted it's unusual to give healthy people an anti-HIV pill. But Dr. Haubrich maintains it's a good idea to develop other prevention methods.

"Despite the message for now almost 30 years of using condoms and being faithful, HIV is still being transmitted. And because of that I think newer strategies, for some people, not for everybody, should be looked at."

Two other UC teams are launching prevention studies involving Truvada. Together, they'll make up the largest test of its kind in the U.S.

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