(Justin Sullivan: Getty Images)
By Rafael Johns, Youth Radio via NPR
Leon Richardson is 18 years old and tall, charismatic and thoughtful about his sexual health.
He understands that as a young, gay black man, he is in the demographic with the highest rate of HIV infections in the country. But when Richardson learned that he could be part of an HIV prevention pill research study for young people, he was skeptical.
“I was scared. I had to really think about it, ‘What is this drug going to do to me?’ ” he says.
The regimen, called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, can reduce the risk of HIV infection by more than 85 percent when a pill called Truvada is taken daily. In a first, the Food and Drug Administration approved Truvada for prevention of the infection in 2012. Truvada had been used previously to treat HIV infection. Continue reading
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
(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