New use for HIV medicine OK’d

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Americans soon will have access to a medication that’s designed to prevent the spread of HIV, which is the virus that causes AIDS.

Food and Drug Administration in July 2012 approved emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, which is marketed as Truvada by Gilead Sciences, to be used by high-risk healthy people to prevent the spread of HIV. It is the first approval for an HIV-preventative medication. FDA first approved the combination medication in 2004 as a treatment for people who are infected with HIV. 

An FDA advisory panel in May 2012 deemed high-risk individuals to be people who are sexually active, particularly the uninfected partners of people who are HIV-positive. The medication costs about $1,100 per month, but it’s covered by insurance plans.