Does Trump’s “AIDS Vaccine” Treat COVID?

( – In yet another attempt to control the public’s perception of President Trump, the main stream media is now flooded with headlines about an alleged suggestion that scientists have developed a vaccine for AIDS. What they’re not reaffirming is the broader picture and the intention of Trump’s statement — the idea that the same great minds which have come up with the vaccines and therapeutics we already use frequently are the same ones competing to tackle COVID-19.

While your news feeds will surely be flooded with clips of only a few choice words, it’s important to take the entire statement into consideration:

Drugs like Atripla, Complera, Dovato, Juluca, Stribild, Triumeq and a host of others are all combination drugs that now allow those with HIV to live with nearly undetectable levels of the virus in their bloodstream. PrEP is a pre-exposure prophylaxis drug that, when used daily, can prevent 74% of HIV cases caused by injectable drugs and around 99% of sexually transmitted cases. A pre-exposure prophylaxis drug isn’t necessarily a “vaccine,” but it brings scientists incredibly close to their end goal.

PrEP is also the subject of clinical trials to explore its use as a potential treatment for COVID. Also known as Truvada, the drug contains a combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir, both considered antivirals. The key consideration is the idea that these drugs can block the reverse transcriptase enzyme — the protein needed to allow the virus to reproduce. And even better? If successful, oral Truvada treatments would make it a lot easier to get treatment to the public than alternatives like remdesivir, which can only be administered by injection.

There isn’t a single one of us who hasn’t tripped over our words time and again, especially in the face of an ongoing and exhausting crisis like the one our country has faced over the last several months. In this case, the overarching message is very clear. The same drugs that are allowing people to live AIDS-free may be incredibly close to serving as COVID-19 treatments — and sooner than we think.

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