Saturday, May 12, 2012
US Panel Approves Anti-HIV Drug
A panel of US health experts has for the
first time backed “Truvada”, a drug to
prevent HIV infection in healthy people.
The panel recommended US regulators
approve the daily pill for use by people
considered at high risk of contracting
the Aids virus.
The Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee,
which advises the US Food and Drug
Administration, voted 19-3 in favour of
prescribing the drug to the highest risk
group – non-infected men who have
sex with multiple male partners.
They also approved it, by majority
votes, for uninfected people with HIV-
positive partners and for other groups
considered at risk of acquiring HIV
through sexual activity.
The US Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) is not required to follow the
panel’s advice, but it usually does. The
FDA is expected to make its decision by
A Study in 2010 showed that Truvada
reduced the risk of HIV in HIV-negative
sexual partners of people who have HIV
by between 44% and 73%.
It also reduced the risk of HIV in healthy
homosexual men by the same amount.
Some health workers and groups active
in the HIV community have opposed the
approval of the drug.
However, correspondents say the move
could prove to be a new milestone in
the fight against HIV/ Aids.
Truvada is already approved by the FDA
for people who are HIV-positive, and is
taken along with existing anti-retroviral
The drug is made by California-based
Posted by Eddy Ogbunambala at 2:10 AM