AIDS Vaccine?

Well not exactly, it’s hasn’t been fully tested and requires you to take a cocktail of HIV retrovirals everytime you have sex (so in other words a vaccine you have to take before having unprotected sex with an HIV positive man/woman, like the pill)…and if you’re a regular Casanova at The Outback (i.e. a frequent user of the stuff) you might actually end up developing a resistance to the drugs.. but it looks promising:

Adhering to strict dosage guidelines and carefully monitored for potential side-effects, Conant’s clients are early adopters of a controversial drug cocktail called PrEP—pre-exposure prophylaxis medications. The concept is simple: Conant uses the same anti-retrovirals (ARVs) that HIV-positive patients take to manage their disease, and administers them to high-risk HIV-negative people in the hopes that the meds willp revent them from catching the virus.

Or at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. Still unproven—and possibly illegal—PrEP is upending the AIDS world, as it conflicts with the “Always Use Condoms” mantra that’s been at the center of AIDS-prevention strategies since the beginning. But PrEP advocates don’t mind that. They think of themselves as realists in an era where people just aren’t as scared of AIDS as they used to be. “Many of these patients have simply given up condoms, but are still looking for ways to stay negative,” says Dr. Conant of his PrEP users, who are all gay.

From San Francisco to South Africa, Brazil to Botswana, more than 20,000 people—men and women, gay and straight, singles and couples—are either currently enrolled in or slated to begin PrEP studies across the globe. And results from the first study—a CDC-sponsored trial on 400 gay men nationwide – are scheduled for release early next year. While researchers are reluctant to speculate on the potential outcome, previous studies in monkeys—and anecdotal “street” use—suggest PrEP is likely to provide some measure of protection against HIV. “We’re cautiously optimistic,” confirms Dr. Kenneth Mayer, medical research director at Fenway Health in Boston.

If the PrEP trials bear out, AIDS could join the hallowed club of diseases preventable by pill. But AIDS, caught in a 30-year swirl of sex and morality, has never been just another illness. As the late-‘80s battles over condom use and needle-exchange programs illustrate, HIV-treatment debates have rarely focused solely on bottom-line results.

PrEP, however, is a game changer. The closest we may soon have to an effective vaccine, it posits the notion of science—rather than self-control—as the key agent of HIV prevention. Much as the birth control pill ushered in the “zipless fucks” of a generation ago, PrEP has the potential to return society to the era of latex-free sex—a concept that elates some and alarms others.

Call it the “Malcolm X” approach to battling HIV: keeping people negative by any means necessary. Yet while preventing HIV infections is certainly cheaper than treating them, at nearly $9,000 per patient per year, PrEP is by far the priciest prevention method available. Add in mass-PrEP education, distribution, and monitoring programs, and “the cost of PrEP could easily be more than our entire current HIV budgets,” says Sara Gillen, Harlem United’s Deputy Director of Prevention.

via The Daily Beast

If true this is great news for Catholic priests. They no longer have to be quite so afraid when they sleep with altar boys (remember it’s the condoms that are bad, not the underage altar boy sex..get it right..)….

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