New Drug to Prevent HIV/AIDS Approved by United States FDA

Scientists and pharmacists have continued to research into how humanity can be saved from the killer scourge called HIV/AIDS. Several efforts in the past have not only been partially successful, they have also been profoundly controversial.  But Monday, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in the United States of America (USA) approved a new drug that could be used by adults to reduce their chances of contacting the dreaded disease.
Such persons who do not already have the infection could reduce their chances of contacting the virus if they take the new drug once a day.  It would be the first time the FDA would be approving a drug for the ailment. The drug is called Truvada, an antiretroviral medication made by Gilead Sciences, Inc., which was already approved by the FDA in 2004 to help control the HIV infection. Truvada is a combination of two HIV medications – emtricitabine (Emtriva) and tenofovir (Viread) – rolled into one pill that is taken once a day. Its efficacy is said to be better enhanced when taken with other HIV drugs, when treating the HIV infection.
In confirming the preventive effect of the drug, the manufacturers proved that pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP can reduce transmission of the virus significantly – up to 96 per cent – when uninfected partners of people infected with HIV took Truvada. But the manufacturers have sounded a note of warning that the drug is no license for reckless sexual life, neither is it a Teflon that can insulate an infection, adding that those who already have the infection must observe sexual discipline as well as combine the new drug with others to achieve greater results.
At the University of Washington, another PrEP study proved very successful in reducing infection rates in couples where one partner is infected and the other is not (called serodiscordant). “The data clearly demonstrate that Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis is effective at reducing the risk of HIV infection acquired through sexual exposure,” said Professor of Global Health and Medicine at the University of Washington and lead investigator of the Partners PrEP trial, Dr. Connie Celum.

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