Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Truvada for use as a preventative measure against HIV infection in at-risk people.
Already prescribed as a treatment for HIV, Truvada was shown in clinical trials to cut the risk of infection by 42 percent in gay and bisexual men when taken daily and accompanied by condom use and counseling. In another study, Truvada reduced the risk of infection in heterosexual couples in which one of the partners was HIV positive by 75 percent.
The drug’s makers, Gilead Sciences Inc., will now be permitted to market both Truvada’s uses – as prevention against and treatment for HIV.
While some in the healthcare community are against Truvada’s new indication for fear that it will provide a false sense of security that may reduce condom use (the most effective protection against HIV), researchers at the FDA say there is no evidence that this will be the case. Rather, the FDA believes Truvada will be effective at stemming the spread of HIV, which has held at 50,000 new infections a year for the past 15 years.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, you can find helpful information about how to prepare for a doctor visit, questions to ask the doctor, and what to expect from treatment in the Vitals HIV/AIDS Patient Guide.