Researchers in Atlanta are recruiting sexually active gay and bisexual men to participate in a study to determine if daily use of the anti-HIV medication Viread is effective in preventing HIV infections, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is spending $3.5 million on the study, to be conducted in Atlanta and San Francisco. The study will evaluate whether daily use of the antiretroviral medication can help prevent HIV infections in people at high risk for infection. Researchers also will gauge whether men taking the drug are more likely to engage in unprotected sex because of perceived protection against the virus. The study will include 200 gay men in each city and will last two years. At least 100 of the men being sought for the Atlanta branch of the study will be African-American, say the researchers.
Similar studies of Viread as preexposure prophylaxis for sex workers and injection-drug users are under way in Ghana, Cameroon, Malawi, and Thailand. Researchers recently called off a study in Nigeria because of the failure to meet international scientific standards. Cambodia's prime minister last year canceled a study in the country because of concerns that the female sex workers participating in the research had not been given proper counseling on HIV prevention and were not guaranteed treatment if they became infected during the course of the study.