AIDS advocacy organizations and patient care providers are celebrating a new advance in HIV prevention – a pill called Truvada.
HIV prevention pill
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved Truvada, which is the first drug proven to reduce the risk of HIV infection. It helps protect HIV-negative people from becoming infected with HIV if they have sexual contact with an HIV-positive partner.
A pill is the new weapon in HIV prevention
There are currently 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, and 50,000 more people are diagnosed each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even scarier, 1 in 5 people with HIV don’t know they are infected. For public health advocates who are fighting the spread of HIV, Truvada is an exciting new development. In clinical trials, Truvada was tested with nearly 5,000 couples (one partner was infected with HIV, the other was not), and it reduced the risk of HIV infection by 75 percent for the uninfected partner.
Safe sex -- not a pill -- is key to prevention
But FDA officials are clear that Truvada isn’t a magic pill. Patients who take Truvada must still be careful about practicing safe sex: using condoms and limiting the number of sexual partners they have. And Ronald Johnson, vice president of policy and advocacy at AIDS United, urged policymakers to consider “issues of affordability and accessibility to those who can benefit from Truvada.” For now, the drug is expensive and may be out of reach for men and women who are most vulnerable to HIV.
What you need to know about Truvada
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