Local trials on ARVs efficacy to continue
in preventing HIV transmission from female to male will continue despite a premature halt to a similar but different research that was being done in the region, researchers have said.
Family Health International last week prematurely stopped a trial that was testing a daily dose of truvada (a combination of widely used ARVs tenofovier and emtricitabine) for HIV prevention among women after an interim data review showed that it does not prevent HIV transmission.
However, earlier trials had proved that the same combination used as post exposure prophylaxis could reduce HIV transmission in men having sex with men by 43,8 percent.
“Today’s announcement about the truvada study is disappointing. However, it must be seen as what it is- the closure of a single trial in a field that has generated exciting results in the recent past.
“Even with this finding there is still a strong rationale for continuing other trials, including those in women in hopes of obtaining better results in future,” the AVAC executive director Mrs Mitchell Warren said.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which conducted the truvada trial, is also behind the tenofovier trial underway in Zimbabwe among other countries.
In Zimbabwe, the trial is being spearheaded by the University of Zimbabwe in conjunction with the University of San Francisco in California (UZ-USFC) under the Vaginal and Oral Interventions to Control the Epidemic (VOICE) study.
The Voice study, which is also being conducted in South Africa and Uganda has a target enrolment of 5 000 women.