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FDA Approves Truvada to Help Prevent HIV Infections in Healthy Individuals

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

On Monday, the FDA approved a groundbreaking drug called Truvada, the first medication shown to prevent HIV in people who have sex with those infected with the virus that causes AIDS.

In trials where HIV-negative individuals had unprotected sex with multiple partners, including some HIV carriers, the daily pill cut the risk of HIV infection by 42 percent compared with a placebo.

And in another trial involving heterosexual couples where one partner was infected — and condoms were regularly used — Truvada reduced the risk of infection by 75 percent.

The drug was already approved for use in combination with other drugs for the treatment of HIV, but researcher Dr. Connie Celum, a professor of global health and medicine at the University of Washington, said, “It is exciting to consider the potential impact of this new HIV prevention tool, which could contribute to significantly reducing new HIV infections.”

FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg echoed those sentiments, adding, “Every year, about 50,000 U.S. adults and adolescents are diagnosed with HIV infection, despite the availability of prevention methods and strategies to educate, test, and care for people living with the disease.”

The FDA also said in a press release that for prevention purposes, Truvada should be used along with common prevention methods including safe sex practices and regular HIV testing.

[The Boston Globe]

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