Interventions With Gay Men

GayIf there was one big story at the Toronto World AIDS Conference, it was the results of the first trial of tenofovir pre-exposure prophylaxis in human beings. This proved conclusively that giving people condoms and safer-sex counselling stopped them catching HIV.
Come again? Wasn’t it meant to prove that taking antiretrovirals stopped them catching HIV? In fact there was no statistically significant difference between HIV incidence in the tenofovir and placebo arms. This was because HIV incidence was half of what was expected. And this was because the proportion of women who used condoms the last time they had sex increased hugely, from 52% at screening to 94% by the end of the study. Out of every seven women who were regularly having unsafe sex at the beginning of the trial, six stopped.
Of course, we can’t prove that it was the condoms and the safer-sex counselling that the researchers were ethically obliged to provide that made the difference, because it wasn’t a randomised controlled trial of the concept. But it makes a pretty convincing case that if you supply the tried-and-tested prevention interventions to people who are in a position to use them, they work.
from AIDSMap

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