Truvada approved for prevention

There has been a mooted welcome to the announcement from The US Food and Drug Administration confirming it had approved the drug Truvada for use in preventing HIV in high risk groups in the US.

Truvada has been approved for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP, which is the use of antiretroviral drugs to decrease the likelihood of HIV infection in people with a high risk of contracting it. In the announcement the FDA also emphasised the need for other preventative measures such as safe sex practices, risk reduction counselling and regular HIV testing.

Speaking yesterday the FDA commissioner Margaret A Hamburg said: “Today’s approval marks an important milestone in our fight against HIV. Every year, about 50,000 US 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. New treatments as well as prevention methods are needed to fight the HIV epidemic in this country.”

The move will be watched closely around the world, including here in the UK where a Medical Research Council and the Health Protection Agency drug trial will be taking place during the autumn. This clinical trial, called Proud, will looking into and examine the full efficacy of a daily PrEP pill to prevent HIV infection spreading.

Critics fear that the daily taking the drug will lead to an increase in promiscuity amongst gay men increasing the number or other sexually transmitted infections and also warned that whilst the drug has been shown effective at preventing HIV in some cases, it doesn’t eliminate the risk altogether.

  • Kimberly

    We need mass awareness against HIV and the way it spreads. The gay and lesbian community is at a higher risk of getting infected by HIV. They need to know about the medication available so that they can safeguard their health.

  • Tyrone

    Only providing medication will not help. People have to be sensitized too. They need to know how HIV spreads and refrain from having unsafe sex. Parents, doctors and everybody need to come ahead and teach the younger generation.

  • Salvatore

    Researchers have long ago warned us about HIV being a bigger threat to mankind. But we didn’t do enough to fight it back. Now when over 50,000 people every year get affected by it, we realize the menace. If you take the figure of the entire globe, it is really saddening. We need to take immediate steps to stop the disease from spreading further.