PrEP in rhesus macaques

01 Aug 2019 | Back to News, Publications and Annual Reports



HIV no longer has to be a death sentence. Thanks to research in monkeys, we have drugs that inhibit the virus and prevent the development of AIDS.

Still, it remains important to prevent the spread of HIV within high-risk groups. That is why PrEP is now provided almost free of charge through the municipal health service.

HIV and AIDS only a problem in Africa? Not really. In the Netherlands, about 800 people a year also contract HIV. A relatively new weapon in the fight against HIV is PrEP, also known as Pre-Exposition Prophylaxis. PrEP is a pill that reduces the risk of HIV infection.

These types of medicines do not just come out of the blue, a lot of research has to be done beforehand. As early as 1999, scientists at BPRC were involved in research that eventually led to PrEP.

In that study, monkeys were treated with Tenofovir shortly after infection. As long as the animals received the antiviral agent, they were protected from infection. Thanks in part to these results, Tenofovir has been further developed and is now part of both the preventive and therapeutic treatment of HIV.

Want to read more about the cradle of HIV treatment and prevention? Follow this link.