US unit favours first drug for HIV prevention

Washington: US drug regulators are affirming that a landmark study showing that a popular HIV-fighting pill already on the market can also help people avoid contracting the virus that causes AIDS in the first place.

The Food and Drug Administration will hold a meeting Thursday to discuss whether Truvada should be approved for people who are at risks of contracting HIV through sexual intercourse. The agency`s positive review suggests the daily pill will become the first drug approved to prevent HIV infection in high-risk patients.

FDA reviewers conclude that using Truvada pre-emptively could spare patients "infection with a serious and life-threatening illness that requires lifelong treatment."

Reviewers stressed that the drug only works when taken daily by patients, and that patients may often forget to take the medication.

PTI