Can a pill prevent HIV? iPrEx, a large international study led by Gladstone Investigator Dr. Robert Grant, said “yes.” The study provided the first evidence that HIV infection can be prevented by a single daily tablet that combines two antiviral drugs. Time named the iPrEx study the #1 medical breakthrough of 2010.
Dr. Grant will describe these exciting findings and explain how they suggest a new strategy to help stop the HIV pandemic. The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with leading experts in HIV prevention and a drag performance by Garza, a classically trained ballet dancer, choreographer, and LGBT activist.
Dr. Robert Grant MD, MPH is the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology Associate Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco.
Gladstone Institute investigator Robert Grant presents encouraging results from the iPrEx study of Truvada, a pill for prevention of HIV infection. With findings of significantly reduced infections as compared to the placebo group, Grant announces the next phase will expand the study group.
Retrovirus associated with AIDS. HIV attacks and gradually destroys the immune system, leaving the host unprotected against infection. It cannot be spread through casual contact but instead is contracted mainly through exposure to blood and blood products (e.g., by sharing hypodermic needles or by accidental needle sticks), semen and female genital secretions, or breast milk. A pregnant woman can pass the virus to her fetus across the placenta. The virus first multiplies in lymph nodes near the site of infection. Once it spreads through the body, usually about 10 years later, symptoms appear, marking the onset of AIDS. Multidrug cocktails can delay onset, but missing doses can lead to drug resistance. Like other viruses, HIV needs a host cell to multiply. It attacks helper T cells and can infect other cells. A rapid mutation rate helps it foil both the immune system and treatment attempts. No vaccine or cure exists. Abstinence from sex, use of condoms or other means to prevent sexual transmission of the disease, and avoidance of needle sharing have reduced infection rates in some areas.