Gilead Science is testing its top-selling HIV drug, Truvada, for use as a form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – a way to prevent HIV transmission. In a recent study, the treatment was shown to be effective only 44% of the time. Despite that result, Gilead continues to push for FDA approval.
AHF strongly supports research into every possible tool in the response against HIV and AIDS. But those tools can’t be pursued at the risk of contributing to, rather than controlling, the epidemic.
PrEP may lead people currently using condoms – which are far more than 44% effective in stopping HIV – to quit using them. Those who contract the virus while on PrEP run the risk of developing drug resistance before finding out that they’re positive, and of spreading that drug-resistant virus to others. Paying for PrEP would also likely take away funds from less costly and more effective HIV prevention methods.
The bottom line is that there is no magic pill to stay safe from HIV – at least not yet.
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