FDA Approves First Drug for Reducing Risk of HIV Infection

July 16, 2012 Updated Jul 16, 2012 at 2:33 PM EDT

...

FDA Approves First Drug for Reducing Risk of HIV Infection

July 16, 2012 Updated Jul 16, 2012 at 2:33 PM EDT

(FDA news release) Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Truvada, the first drug approved to reduce the risk of HIV infection in uninfected individuals who are at high risk of HIV infection and who may engage in sexual activity with HIV-infected partners.

According to a FDA news release:

Truvada, taken daily, is to be used for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in combination with safer sex practices to reduce the risk of sexually-acquired HIV infection in adults at high risk.

The FDA previously approved Truvada to be used in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV-infected adults and children 12 years or older.

As part of PrEP, HIV-uninfected individuals who are at high risk will take Truvada daily to lower their chances of becoming infected with HIV should they be exposed to the virus. A PrEP indication means Truvada is approved for use as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy that includes other prevention methods, such as safe sex practices, risk reduction counseling, and regular HIV testing.

"Today’s approval marks an important milestone in our fight against HIV," said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. "Every year, about 50,000 U.S. 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."

Read the entire FDA news release HERE.