Major developments in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences has submitted an application to the Food and Drug Administration seeking approval of its antiretroviral drug Truvada for
PrEP is the daily use of an antiretroviral drug therapy that has dramatically reduced new infections in HIV-negative gay and bisexual men. Daily use of the cocktail—a combination of Truvada and/or Viread—has shown up to 73 percent efficacy in preventing HIV transmission. Newer clinical trials have demonstrated that PrEP is also effective for heterosexual couples.
If the application is approved, Truvada would become the first medication authorized for use by uninfected individuals to reduce their risk of acquiring HIV through sex.
There have been some questions about resilience and the impact of powerful antiretrovirals on a healthy immune system. But the major question: Who will pay for the drug? In the United States, Truvada can cost $36 a day or up to $14,000 a year.
San Francisco will soon become the first city in the nation to offer PrEP for HIV-negative gay and bisexual men. The news comes after the release of disturbing HIV seroconversion data. New HIV cases among Black gay and bisexual men aged 13-29 rose an estimated 48 percent between 2006-2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
See our recent series "Reversing the Alarming HIV Increase Among Black Gay Men Part 1" and "Part 2", as well as "What Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Could Mean for Black Gay and Bi Men" and "Clinical Trials Show PrEP Reduces Heterosexual HIV Transmission" that were syndicated by the Black AIDS Institute.