The Food and Drug Administration approved today the first pill to reduce the risk of HIV infection in uninfected individuals.
"Today’s approval marks an important milestone in our fight against HIV," said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg in a statement.
The pill, called Truvada, has to be taken daily. According to FDA research, a study of 2,499 HIV-negative men or transgender women “who have sex with men and with evidence of high risk behavior for HIV infection, such as inconsistent or no condom use during sex with a partner of positive or unknown HIV status, a high number of sex partners, and exchange of sex for commodities” showed that the pill was effective in reducing the risk of HIV infection by 42 percent.
A similar study of 4,758 straight couples where one partner was HIV-infected and the other was not showed Truvada reduced the risk of becoming infected by 75 percent.
A general public release date has not been announced yet.