A biopharmaceutical company’s research has led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to formally approve Truvada for HIV prevention in teenagers.
Gilead Sciences performed a study on the drug among 67 HIV-negative patients ages 15 to 17, according to Street Insider. The drug was previously approved for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in adults in 2012.
“By expanding the number of at-risk individuals who can consider Truvada as a prevention option, we have taken another important step toward helping to reduce HIV transmission rates and improve public health in the United States,” said Andrew Cheng, the chief medical officer for Gilead Sciences. “Gilead is committed to addressing unmet needs in HIV prevention and treatment and we look forward to continuing that work with our research and advocacy partners.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said adults aged 13 to 24 made up 21 percent of new cases in 2016. Of those cases, 81 percent occurred among sexually-active gay men.
“We must make use of all available options when considering HIV prevention strategies, and we welcome the development that Truvada for PrEP is now available for younger people who are at risk of HIV,” policy and advocacy manager for NMAC Matthew Rose said. “We will continue to build awareness and understanding of the role of Truvada for PrEP as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention plan for all who may benefit from it, particularly among communities disproportionately impacted by the disease, including young Black and Latino men in the United States.”