Preventive treatment against the AIDS virus tested successfully in Belgium

Le Soir is reporting on Tuesday that a drug vaccine against the AIDS virus has been successfully tested in Belgium.

This makes the country a European pioneer in the fight against HIV. During a conference in Paris last week, Belgian researchers revealed for the first time results of an unprecedented study, the first Belgian experiment for a pre-exposure phophylaxis against the HIV virus.

The treatment in question involves those who are HIV-negative but running an increased risk of infection taking Truvada, a preventive antiretroviral medicine. Two hundred volunteers from an at-risk group took part in the trial. One in four had indicated having had, in the last three months, a sexual relationship with 15 anonymous partners. This 25% did not know whether or not their partners were infected with AIDS or AIDS-related illnesses.

Following the experiment, none of the 200 patients were infected. Kristien Wouters, of the ARC Clinic of the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine which conducted the study said, “This is a remarkable result.” The researcher explained, “This is even better than a vaccine, since it completely protects you if you take the medication. In the Netherlands, in a comparable study, they noted that there was one case of contamination.”

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