With the International AIDS Conference less than one week away, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday approved a drug to treat HIV/AIDS that drastically reduces a person’s risk of acquiring the potentially deadly virus.
The FDA approved the medication Truvada as a preventive measure for healthy people who are at high risk of catching the disease through risky sexual behavior–knowingly or unknowingly having sex with infected partners. The strategy is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis. When the medication is taken properly, clinical trials show it to be up to 92 percent effective in preventing the onset of HIV/AIDS.
“The approval paves the way for increased work with the federal government and Gilead Sciences to ensure they realize the incredible impact they can now have to get Truvada to the hardest hit communities,” said Neil Giuliano, president of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. He added, “The decision heralds a new era in HIV prevention.”
Giuliano made his comments in a release shortly after the agency announced its approval of Truvada.
More details about the benefits of Truvada will be revealed and discussed next week at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference is returning to the United States for the first time in more than 20 years, following President Barack Obama’s lift of the travel ban on people living with the virus.