“The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the first drug shown to reduce the risk of H.I.V. infection, a milestone in the 30-year battle against the virus that causes AIDS. The agency approved Truvada, a pill made by Gilead Sciences, as a preventive measure for people who are at high risk of acquiring H.I.V. through sexual activity, like those whose partners are infected. Public health advocates say the approval could help slow the spread of H.I.V., which has held steady at about 50,000 new infections per year for the last 15 years. An estimated 1.2 million Americans have H.I.V., which develops into AIDS unless treated with antiviral drugs. Gilead Sciences has marketed Truvada since 2004 as a treatment for people who are already infected with the virus, but starting in 2010, studies showed that the drug could prevent people from contracting H.I.V. A three-year study found that daily doses cut the risk of infection in healthy gay and bisexual men by 42 percent when accompanied by condoms and counseling. Last year, another study found that Truvada reduced infection by 75 percent in heterosexual couples in which one partner was infected.”
Drug Approved to Fight H.I.V. Infection, NY Times, July 17, 2012
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