FDA Approves Use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention

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Today, the US Food and Drug Administration took a major step in the fight against HIV by approving the use of antiretroviral medication known as emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (FTC-TDF) for use in preventing HIV. According to a press release from Fenway Health:  “The FDA stressed that FTC-TDF should be used ‘in combination with safer sex practices to prevent sexually-acquired HIV infection in adults at high risk, and stressed that Truvada [the brand name for FTC-TDF] is not a substitute for safer sex practices. The FDA’s action comes two months after a scientific advisory committee overwhelmingly recommended indicating [the drug], and a week after the New England Journal of Medicine published two studies showing that FTC-TDF reduced the risk of HIV infection among heterosexual women and men in Africa.”

In a clinical trial, when Truvada is taken daily it helped reduce the risk of HIV infection by 42 percent compared with a placebo. This trial used HIV-negative individuals who had unprotected sex with multiple partners, including some HIV carriers, according to the FDA.


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