The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug on Monday that has been shown to reduce the risk of acquiring the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV. A great step in the three decades of fighting the virus that causes AIDS.
Truvada is a drug that is already being used in the treatment of HIV and has been shown to reduce the chance of acquiring the virus. Currently an average of 50,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with the virus each year.
Gilead Sciences is the company that produces Truvada, the drug that was approved after two clinical studies with 2,500 men who did not carry the virus and who maintained a risky sex life. Throughout the study, the FDA determined that the drug dramatically reduced the risk of infection in those patients who took it regularly.
The first study conducted in 2010 determined that the drug could prevent HIV transmission in gay and bisexual patients by up to 42 percent, provided it was used in combination with condoms.
The second study showed that Truvada reduced the spread of the virus by 75 percent among heterosexual couples in which only one person was infected. Since the drug already exists on the market as a treatment medication, some doctors were already using it as a preventive medicine. The FDA announcement will surely skyrocket the number of prescriptions.
Groups like the AIDS Healthcare Foundation asked the FDA to back down on its decision, since they said that measure would be promoting sex without condoms.