Narrator: This is Science Today. Thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, the number of people nationwide who are newly infected with the HIV virus has held steady in recent years at about 50,000 annually. There was a sharp drop in cases in the late 1980s, but the level of transmission today is frustrating to health care professionals. To help, the University of California has awarded funding to test a potential HIV prevention pill for high-risk, uninfected people in several California communities. Dr. George Lemp directs the university's California HIV/AIDS Research Program.
Lemp: It's really time to provide an intervention for people who are at high risk that can help them reduce their chance of infection and reduce the chance of infection to others. So, we think that with this approach, we can actually impact the HIV epidemic on a permanent basis and reduce the epidemic's course in California.
Narrator: The initiative is testing a drug called Truvada, which is currently used to treat people infected with HIV. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.