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An antiviral pill taken daily by thousands of men across Sydney and other parts of Australia led to a globally unprecedented reduction in new HIV cases, showing that a targeted, preventative approach may accelerate progress on ending the AIDS epidemic.

New cases of HIV among gay and bisexual men fell by almost a third to the lowest on record, according to the world’s first study to measure the impact of Gilead Sciences Inc.’s Truvada pill on reducing the AIDS-causing virus in a large population. The results, published Thursday in the Lancet HIV medical journal, may pave the way for other states and countries to stop transmission of the virus with the use of a treatment called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

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