FDA to Approve Drug for HIV Prevention

An expert committee has recommended that a drug trade-named Truvada be offered daily to gay men and people living with infected partners to prevent them from catching HIV. 

What's the Latest Development?


An expert committee at the Food and Drug Administration has recommended that an antiviral drug trade-named Truvada be offered daily to uninfected people to prevent them from catching HIV. The drug, which combines two antiviral drugs called tenofovir and emtricitabine, is currently available only to those who have already contracted the virus. The first beneficiaries of the drug's extended license are likely to be homosexual men and uninfected partners in relationships where one of the pair already has the virus. "The FDA will make a final decision on whether to approve Truvada for 'pre-exposure prophylaxis' by 15 June."

What's the Big Idea?

While we do not yet have a vaccine against HIV, the approval of Truvada for preventative use may be the next best thing. In a 2010 study, homosexual men who took Truvada reduced their risk of HIV contraction by 44%. In another study completed in Kenya and Uganda, researchers wanted to know if the drug could stop the virus from spreading in couples where one partner carried the disease but the other did not. "It found that Truvada given to the uninfected partner reduced their risk of infection by 73 per cent." The drug should act in concert with other preventative measures, including condoms, safe sex and male circumcision. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Orangutans exhibit awareness of the past

Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club

(Eugene Sim/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
  • It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
  • This ability may come from a common ancestor
Keep reading Show less

Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
Keep reading Show less

Understand your own mind and goals via bullet journaling

Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.

Videos
  • Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
  • The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
  • One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
Keep reading Show less