HIV Clinical Trial
A research assistant at St. Vincent's Hospital Centre for Immunology in Sydney archives plasma samples from an HIV clinical trial July 20, 2007. Reuters/Tim Wimborne

People at Victoria, who are at a risk of HIV, have signed up for a new HIV trial hoping that positive outcomes may force the Federal Government subsidise the drug as preventative measure.

According to, the Victorian government is hopeful that the study would decrease new HIV infections across the state by up to 30 percent. The total cost of the study, that will be carried over 20 months, has been estimated to be $1.4 million.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a way for people, who do not have HIV but at significant risks of contracting it, prevent themselves from the HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill of the brand name Truvada consists of two medicines, emtricitabine and tenofovir, and they are used in combination along with other medicines to treat HIV.

When people are exposed to the virus through sexual intercourse or injection drug use, the medicines are administered to keep the HIV virus from establishing a permanent infection, informs Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Although PrEP is listed under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), it is currently available only to those infected with HIV. More than 27,000 Australians are HIV positive. More than 1,000 new HIV cases are reported every year since 2012. Of all HIV diagnoses made in Australia in 2014, 70% of transmissions occurred among men who had sex with men.

Simon Ruth, CEO of the AIDS Council, revealed that condom use among homosexual men is effective only 70 percent of the time. He added that Australia cannot end HIV without PrEP medication.

State Health Minister Jill Hennessy said that 2,600 will participate in the trials in partnership with Victorian AIDS Council and Alfred Health and 1,300 Victorians are already PrEP medication.

In the US, scientists from Scripps Research Institute are using neutralised HIV antibodies to develop a HIV vaccine cure.