A study out of UCLA and Lima, Peru show that people are more willing to use Truvada, the anti-retroviral drug for HIV, if they can pay less money for it regardless of its effectiveness. The International Study of STD and AIDS published the results of the study last week. Using consumer marketing techniques, the study found that female sex workers, male-to-female transgender persons and men who have sex with men would be willing to take the pill if the cost to purchase it was low. The participants also said that they would be willing to take the pill if it were 100 percent effective and only required to be taken right before sex. The results from the scientific research published earlier this year showed that in order for the pill to be effective, participants would have to take it daily regardless of sexual activity and it only cuts the risk of infection by 44%.
These expectations are not surprising to this Examiner who wondered about the cost of this treatment in an earlier report. Health educators want to have effective treatment that would in fact prevent HIV transmission. But out-of-pocket cost has a direct effect on accessibility. If a person wants to protect themselves from contracting the virus, chances are they will not spend more than what they do on a three pack of condoms to get that protection. It's just not feasible. Other factors weighed in on the participants willingness to use PReP including where they would be willing to go to pick up the pill, side effects, and the duration of use. Health care must be made more affordable and more opportune on all levels if we expect to stop the virus.
For more information about the study click here.
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