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Switch On Your HIV Smarts.

New NEXT-PrEP Website

, by Reilly O'Neal

PrEP (short for pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a new HIV-prevention approach in which HIV-negative people take antiretroviral drugs—some of the same drugs taken to treat HIV—to help them avoid infection. The combination drug Truvada (containing tenofovir and emtricitabine) was approved for PrEP in July 2012, after studies showed that, when taken daily as directed, the drug was associated with up to a 92% drop in HIV risk among transgender women and men who have sex with men. (Visit prepfacts.org to learn more about PrEP and the “real-world” demonstration projects currently underway.)

Now researchers with the HPTN 069/ACTG 5305 study are looking beyond Truvada and testing whether the HIV drug maraviroc (Selzentry) might also be safe and acceptable as PrEP for men who have sex with men and women who have sex with men.

Curious? You can learn all about the NEXT-PrEP study (short for “Novel Exploration of Therapeutics for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis”) at a just-launched website, nextprepstudy.org. The site makes it easy for anyone interested in the study to connect with research sites now enrolling participants in 13 cities across the United States.

The website is available in English and Spanish and also offers quick answers to frequently asked questions about the NEXT-PrEP study in particular and about PrEP in general. “While condoms are effective in preventing HIV, we know that people don’t always use them,” the site states. “For that reason we are trying to find new ways to prevent HIV.”

Visit nextprepstudy.org to learn more and find out whether the study is right for you. Have questions about putting your body on the line for science? Get BETA columnist Matt Sharp’s take on the pros and cons in “Ask a Guinea Pig: What Do I Need to Know Before Joining a PrEP Trial?

Reilly O’Neal is a freelance writer and former editor of BETA.

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