SOURCE: Fenway Health

Fenway Health

November 23, 2010 08:01 ET

Oral Medication Could Facilitate Prevention of HIV, Reports New Study Published in New England Journal of Medicine

Principal Investigator Dr. Ken Mayer, Fenway Health, Available for Comment

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - November 23, 2010) - A study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine has concluded that daily use of two widely used HIV medications, emtricitabine and tenofovir (which are co-formulated in a single pill) could reduce the risk of HIV infection by nearly 44 percent. This marks the first evidence that oral pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, reduces HIV infection risk and offers a new approach to reducing the number of new HIV infections worldwide.

Boston's Fenway Health has been one of only two US sites involved in the study, which recruited 2499 men in 6 countries in 4 continents, and is also home to one of the authors of the new study, Dr. Ken Mayer.

"We had reached a plateau in preventing the transmission of HIV," said Dr. Mayer. "For more than 15 years, the rate of new infections in the U.S. has been stuck at about 56 thousand per year; globally, there are more than 2.5 million new HIV infections per year. There has been no downward movement in this number, which meant that we desperately needed a new approach. Today's announcement marks a tremendous step forward -- it's now possible that within five years, we can significantly reduce the number of new infections."

Dr. Mayer is available for comment on:

  • Practical applications of PrEP as a prevention tool
  • Why Boston was chosen as a site for the study
  • Why rates of HIV transmission have not decreased in more than a decade
  • How PrEP could limit the spread of HIV in the U.S. and developing countries
  • How PrEP addresses an important, unmet public health need for men who have sex with men
  • The impact of HIV on high-risk populations

Additional information about the iPrEx study and PrEP:

Contact Information

  • For more information contact
    Lisa Pollack
    617 482-0042
    Email Contact