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Scientists halt AIDS prevention pill study

Researchers are stopping a study that tests a daily pill to prevent infection with the AIDS virus in thousands of African women because partial results show no signs that the drug is doing any good.

Women taking Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences Inc., are just as likely to get HIV as others who have been given dummy pills, an interim analysis of the study found.

The finding is disappointing because another study last fall concluded that Truvada did help prevent infections in gay and bisexual men when given with condoms, counseling and other prevention services. Many AIDS experts view that as a breakthrough that might help slow the epidemic.

Family Health International, a nonprofit involved in AIDS research, announced the new results yesterday. As of last week, 56 new HIV infections had occurred, half in each group. -- AP

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