The FDA panel approved Truvada, an antiretroviral drug for use by healthy people to prevent HIV infection.  (Justin Sullivan: Getty Images)
The FDA panel approved Truvada, an antiretroviral drug for use by healthy people to prevent HIV infection. (Justin Sullivan: Getty Images)

From AP:

A panel of federal health advisers has endorsed the first drug shown to prevent HIV infection in healthy people, clearing the way for a potentially landmark approval in the 30-year-old effort against the virus that causes AIDS.

In a series of votes, the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended approval of the daily pill Truvada for healthy people who are at high risk of contracting HIV, including gay and bisexual men and heterosexual couples with one HIV-infected person. The FDA is not required to follow the panel’s advice, though it usually does. A final decision is expected by June 15.

Drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, already markets Truvada as a treatment for people who are infected with HIV.

Last July, KQED’s News Fix editor Jon Brooks interviewed Dr. Paul Volberding, co-director of the Center for AIDS Research at the University of California, San Francisco, about the research into Truvada up to that time. Volberding said results showed “the kind of effect we might expect from a very good vaccine.” They also discussed what populations might consider using Truvada as a prophylactic and whether giving healthy people a preventative drug might induce them to engage in riskier sexual activity.

You can read or listen to the interview here.

Author

Lisa Aliferis

Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED's State of Health blog. Since 2011, she's been writing stories and editing them for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco's CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferis

State of Health sponsored by

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor