Since the HIV/AIDS epidemic began in the 1980s, many important strides have been made in battling the disease. Earlier detection, more widespread testing, and better treatments have led to profoundly better outcomes for people who are HIV positive. Yet frustrating challenges still persist: there are still 50,000 new cases of HIV/AIDS nationally every year. Those new cases are occurring disproportionately, and even increasing, among men who have sex with men, particularly minorities.Because of this, there has been a shift in the focus of HIV/AIDS research towards prevention, says Onyema Ogbuagu, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the Yale AIDS Program. “This is a national effort,” he says, “that coincides with published evidence showing that antiretroviral drugs can be used to prevent HIV infection.”The use of these drugs to prevent HIV is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. “It is another tool in the toolbox for HIV prevention,” says Assistant Professor of Medicine E. Jennifer Edelman, M.D., M.H.S. She and Dr. Ogbuagu are co-directing an observational study at Yale on PrEP. They are seeking at-risk HIV negative men who have sex with men to come receive information about PrEP and determine, with one of the PrEP providers, if PrEP is right for them.Individuals who start PrEP will be offered enrollment into the study, and will be observed through routine health care. The study aims to understand how starting a PrEP regimen impacts men's sexual risk behavior around HIV, and if substance use impacts adherence with PrEP.Using PrEP to prevent HIV infection is much like people who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease taking a statin; now we have another way to prevent HIV with medication.E. Jennifer Edelman, M.D., M.H.S.“Using PrEP to prevent HIV infection is much like people who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease taking a statin; now we have another way to prevent HIV with medication,” Dr. Edelman says. She and Dr. Ogbuagu hope that their study will help increase awareness of this safe and effective method of HIV prevention, along with condom use and limiting of sexual partners.December is AIDS/HIV Awareness Month, a perfect time to think about prevention. For more information on enrolling in the study, please call (203) 688-5303.