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For the first time, a study has confirmed that using the HIV-prevention pill can effectively thwart the virus in uninfected men by a significant amount, a finding that patient activists argue should spur public health officials to more aggressively push for wider access to the medicine.

By giving men the PrEP pill on a rapid and targeted basis, the HIV diagnosis rate fell by 25 percent in just one year, from 295 cases in the fall of 2016 to 221 cases the following year, according to the study, which was published in The Lancet HIV journal.


The study followed 3,700 men who had been given PrEP in New South Wales, Australia. After determining high levels of adherence, the researchers found the incidence of HIV infection was less than one person in 2,000 patients a year, compared with an expected incidence of two people for every 100 patients a year or more if the pill was not taken.

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