A daily intake of a pill could significantly reduce risks of HIV infection, according to a new study.
The pill, called Truvada, has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection of up to 92% in people who are at high risk.
San Francisco-based health insurer Kaiser Permanente conducted a study on 657 people who are at high-risk to be infected with HIV, Business Insider reported. Of the participants, 653 were men who have sex with men between 20 and 68 years old.
All of the study participants were HIV negative at the time the study began. They took Truvada daily from 2012 to 2015. They were also screened for HIV every few months and took surveys about their sexual behavior.
Over the period of the study, none of them contracted the virus. However, half of the participants did contract other sexually transmitted diseases during that time, Inquistr reported.
Although it was not a clinical trial, Business Insider noted that the result of the study contradicted some concerns that Truvada would lead to less condom use and higher HIV cases.
In 2004, US Food and Drug Administration approved Truvada to be used to reduce the amount of HIV in the blood of HIV-infected patients. Truvada was also approved in 2012 to lower risk of contracting the virus and classified it as a prevention method called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines people at high risk of contracting HIV as people who either have unprotected sex with people who may have HIV, or have injected illegal intravenous drugs and shared needles.
Aside from PrEP, CDC recommended no sharing of needles and using of condoms correctly and consistently as best ways to prevent HIV.
CDC said the only way to know if someone is infected with HIV is to be tested. Many people who are infected with HIV do not manifest symptoms at all for 10 years or more.
According to World Health Organization, there are about 36.9 million people living with HIV worldwide as of 2014. In the United States, the CDC records show about 1.2 million people in the country were living with HIV at the end of 2012. Of those, about 12.8% were not aware that they have the infection.