Condoms are 'best' way of preventing HIV transmission

Although he welcomed the development of trials of the oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) HIV-prevention treatment, Sir Nick Partridge of the Terrence Higgins Trust said condoms are still - and will be for the foreseeable future - the best way of safeguarding against Aids.

He explained that they are the most effective, cheapest and most easily available method of stopping HIV transmission, noting that while the drug will have an impact, it is not yet ready for widespread use.

"As this trial suggests, [PrEP] is going to be an addition to condom use, rather than a replacement of it," the chief executive remarked.

Sir Nick continued, saying three hurdles facing the therapy include costs, risks of drug-resistant strains developing and the need to take treatment each day.

According to the results of a study into PrEP, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, an estimated 43.8 per cent reduction of new infections in men taking an antiretroviral tablet daily to prevent HIV was seen, compared with those ingesting a placebo.