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December 21, 2009

CDC Switches Direction of Botswana PrEP Trial

A study already underway in Botswana regarding the usefulness of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is being adjusted to account for the dropping HIV rates in that country, Reuters reports.  

PrEP is being studied around the world to determine whether low, daily doses of HIV medications can be used to safeguard HIV-negative people from contracting the virus. The Botswana trials involved Gilead Science’s Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

“We are not giving up on the trial—we are going to complete the trial. We just will not get all of the answers we set out to get,” Terry Butler, the CDC’s director of strategic communications, told Reuters. “The trial protocol and timeline will be revised to focus instead on the other remaining study questions—primarily behavioral and clinical safety and adherence.”  

According to the article, the study—called TDF2—must change directions to account for dropping HIV infection rates in Botswana, where close to a quarter of adults are already living with the virus. Additionally, researchers are having difficulty keeping people enrolled in the trial.  

“The drops in incidence that we are seeing in Botswana and elsewhere are welcome news, requiring new and innovative ways of designing, running and funding trials and of working with communities,” said Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention.

Search: Botswana, pre-exposure prophylaxsis, PrEP

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