Truvada

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S.F. Supervisor Wiener Announces He’s Taking HIV Preventive Drug

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener (left) says he started taking a drug to prevent HIV infection earlier this year. (Lisa Aliferis/KQED)

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener (left) says he started taking a drug to prevent HIV infection earlier this year. (Lisa Aliferis/KQED)

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener publicly announced Wednesday afternoon that he is taking Truvada, an FDA-approved drug that dramatically reduces the risk of HIV infection. He appears to the be the first public official to make such an announcement.

“My hope is that by disclosing my PrEP use… I can get more people thinking about PrEP as a possibility.”  

Wiener said he began taking the medication earlier this year. This preventive approach is also referred to as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP.

“I am using PrEP as a personal health choice that I made in consultation with my physician,” he said in an interview at his office at City Hall. “My hope is that by disclosing my PrEP use publicly that I can help move the conversation forward and get more people thinking about PrEP as a possibility, and encouraging people to consult with their medical provider.”

Truvada combines two different drugs into a single pill that, when taken daily, can reduce the risk of HIV infection by more than 90 percent. It was approved by the FDA in 2012, and was developed by the Foster City company Gilead. Both the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend its use by people who are at high risk of HIV infection. Still, it is the subject of debate, especially within the gay community. Continue reading

FDA Approves First Drug to Help Prevent HIV Infection

(Justin Sullivan: Getty Images)

(Justin Sullivan: Getty Images)

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Truvada, the first drug shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk of acquiring HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Truvada was already approved as a medication for treatment of people already infected with HIV.

Truvada is to be taken twice a day in what is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

From the FDA’s press release:

As part of PrEP, HIV-uninfected individuals who are at high risk will take Truvada daily to lower their chances of becoming infected with HIV should they be exposed to the virus. A PrEP indication means Truvada is approved for use as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy that includes other prevention methods, such as safe sex practices, risk reduction counseling, and regular HIV testing. Continue reading

FDA Panel Approves First Drug to Prevent HIV Infection

The FDA panel approved Truvada, an antiretroviral drug for use by healthy people to prevent HIV infection.  (Justin Sullivan: Getty Images)

The FDA panel approved Truvada, an antiretroviral drug for use by healthy people to prevent HIV infection. (Justin Sullivan: Getty Images)

From AP:

A panel of federal health advisers has endorsed the first drug shown to prevent HIV infection in healthy people, clearing the way for a potentially landmark approval in the 30-year-old effort against the virus that causes AIDS.

In a series of votes, the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended approval of the daily pill Truvada for healthy people who are at high risk of contracting HIV, including gay and bisexual men and heterosexual couples with one HIV-infected person. The FDA is not required to follow the panel’s advice, though it usually does. A final decision is expected by June 15.

Drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, already markets Truvada as a treatment for people who are infected with HIV.

Continue reading