Taking HIV prevention pill may not encourage risky sex: US study
CHICAGO (REUTERS) - Taking a pill as a preventive measure against HIV infection may not encourage people at high risk for the disease to engage in risky sexual behaviour, according to a new US study meant to address fears about its use.
The research, published in the Public Library of Science journal Plos One, builds on the 2010 landmark study that found Gilead Sciences Inc's Truvada - a pill already used widely to treat the human immunodeficiency virus - was more than 90 per cent effective at preventing HIV infections among test subjects who took the drug as prescribed.
It is the latest to look at whether taking a pill to prevent infections could lead to "risk compensation," or an adjustment to their behavior in response to their perceived level of risk.
"There has been a concern that really anything we do to prevent HIV in high-risk individuals could lead people to feel more secure and have riskier sex," said Dr Robert Grant of the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology in San Francisco, one of the study's authors.