World Bulletin/News Desk
The World Health Organization has endorsed using HIV medicines among people who do not have the infection but are at high risk of getting it, and suggested that poor and wealthy countries alike set up pilot projects to better understand the benefits.
The United Nations agency made its suggestion on Friday, four days after U.S. regulators approved use of Gilead Sciences Inc's Truvada for people who are not infected but may engage in sexual activity with HIV-positive partners. The concept is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Truvada, which combines the anti-HIV drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine in one pill, is widely used to treat people already infected with the virus that causes AIDS. The medicine, which costs almost $14,000 a year in the United States, is the first treatment also approved for prevention.
"WHO is encouraging countries wishing to introduce PrEP to first establish small projects to help public health workers to better understand and realize its potential benefits," the agency said in a statement. It said appropriate HIV medicines should be given to those at high risk of infection.
"These could include men or transgender women who have sex with men," the group said.
WHO spokeswoman Sarah Russell said the agency could not recommend specific drugs for prevention, but she said, "It needs to be a drug like Truvada that has been developed for prevention purposes."
Russell said WHO expects Gilead to make Truvada available at a deeply discounted price in some poor countries.
"We believe Gilead will bring the price down to about $100 per year per person" in those countries, she said in an interview.
Gilead officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
WHO noted that an international study called Partners PrEP has shown that HIV medicines are highly effective at preventing the illness in men and women whose partners are infected.
That study, conducted in Kenya and Uganda and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, involved taking a daily tablet containing tenofovir or tenofovir in combination with emtricitabine.
The U.N. agency said it would evaluate the outcomes of the small projects, along with evolving scientific evidence, before issuing its own detailed guidelines next year on the use of HIV treatments for prevention.
WHO said it was important that people taking HIV drugs for prevention are HIV-negative because otherwise drug resistant forms of HIV could evolve. The agency said they should also continue using condoms and faithfully take their medicines on a daily basis.
Spotters have been tracking the shark via satellite since it crossed the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and it is now believed to be heading towards the UK.
Across the Asia-Pacific, 400 million hectares (4 mln sq kms) - an area equal to the combined size of India and Myanmar - are now in bad need of restoration
The researchers found that on average the rate of tuberculosis (TB) in big cities was twice the rate of the national TB incidence
Residual sour gas was then burnt in flares at Kashagan's processing plants, polluting the environment, the ministry said in a statement.
Researchers from Britain and the United States found what they describe as the first hard evidence that malaria creeps to higher elevations during warmer years
The CPC's latest outlook brings the forecaster in line with other global meteorologists that have raised their outlook for El Nino's potential return this year.
The child is the second case, following an earlier instance in Mississippi, in which doctors may have brought HIV in a newborn into remission by administering antiretroviral drugs in the first hours of life.
"We will resolutely declare war against pollution as we declared war against poverty," PM Li told the almost 3,000 delegates to the country's largely rubber-stamp legislature in a wide-ranging address carried live on state television.
The research, which lends weight to campaigns for smoking to be banned in private cars and homes, found passive smoking leads to a thickening of children's artery walls, adding some 3.3 years to the age of blood vessels by adulthood.
Professor Jean-Michel Claverie, from the National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) at the University of Aix-Marseille in France, said "this is the first time we've seen a virus that's still infectious after this length of time."
The 76-year-old man died on Sunday, 75 days after the operation, the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris said in a statement, adding that the cause of his death could not be known for sure at this stage.
Pacific islanders were eating fewer coconuts as a source of fat and many people in Southeast Asia were getting fewer calories from rice
The researchers had been able to clone the antibodies and would test if they were able to give immunity to a person without the virus
The condition of the baby with kidney disease returns to normal after doctors in the Turkish city of Konya decide against abortion to begin treatment in the womb
Australia's conservative government approved plans to dredge 3 million cubic metres of sand for the port expansion
Frequent nightmares were very common for one in ten children, especially between the ages of three and seven, but effects resulting from nightmares were much more severe in 12-year-olds.