Regulatory agency the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday approved Truvada, the first drug to be legalized to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are infected but have no risk of the virus because of sexual contact with an infected partner.
The daily pill-shaped drug made by Gilead Sciences in California company, combining the two drugs that block HIV reproduction.
The use of the drug should be coupled with safe sex to reduce the risk of infection.
“Truvada should not be used to prevent HIV infection by itself,” said FDA official Dr. Debra Birnkrant during a press conference.
FDA previously approved Truvada for use with other antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of adults and children over 12 years who are infected with HIV.
The FDA said people who take Truvada should undergo tests to detect HIV infections every three months so that treatment can be started if an infection occurs.
“Permission marks an important step in our war against HIV,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret scattering in a statement.
“Every year, some 50,000 adults and adolescents diagnosed with HIV infection …. This type of new treatments and prevention methods are needed to combat the HIV epidemic in this country,” he said.