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U.S. News

HIV Pill for Prevention Debated as FDA Ruling Nears

March 9, 2012

Ahead of a Food and Drug Administration expert panel review in May, AIDS advocacy groups are weighing in on Gilead Sciences' request that its HIV drug Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir) be approved for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) against the virus.

The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation has petitioned FDA on the grounds that studies show Truvada is only partially effective at PrEP. Since the combination drug must be taken every day, protection will diminish if -- as is common in everyday life -- a dose is missed, said AHF. "People who take PrEP even haphazardly will consider themselves protected" and could forgo preventive measures like condoms, said Tom Myers, the group's general counsel.

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