The following is a recent announcement from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration):
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the new use of Truvada—to be taken once daily and used in combination with safer sex practices—to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 infection in adults who do not have HIV but are at high risk of becoming infected. (HIV-1 is the most common form of HIV.)T
The announcement goes on to say:
Person Must Be HIV Negative
Truvada, produced by Gilead Sciences Inc., is a combination of two antiretroviral medications used to treat HIV—tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine. When Truvada is used as a treatment for HIV rather than a preventive, the patient also takes a third drug. Which of the other approved HIV drugs is added depends on the needs of the patient.
Before this medicine is prescribed, there are several factors that a person and his or her health care professional must consider in weighing the risk versus the benefit:
- The person must be tested to ensure that he or she is HIV negative.
- Flu-like symptoms—such as fever or muscle aches—are a red flag because they could indicate the presence of early, acute HIV infection, even if test results are negative. There is a window of four to five weeks with some tests, and up to three months with others, in which the antibodies that indicate HIV infection do not appear in the blood.
- Safety concerns tied to Truvada have to do with its effect on the bones and kidneys. While effects observed in clinical trials were mild and reversible with discontinuation of the medication, people with a history of bone or kidney ailments should be regularly monitored to ensure their continued health.
- It is recommended that the person also be tested for hepatitis B because worsening of hepatitis B infections has been reported in those who have both HIV-1 and hepatitis B when treatment with Truvada was stopped.
This information has been shortened here for this blog. To access the article in its entirety go to http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm311821.htm.
What are your thoughts on the new use of Truvada? With all the warnings and dangers associated with taking this medication, would one be better off just practicing safe sex and using a condom? If it is suggested that this medication be used in combination with safer sex practices, does this change our perception of being safe with condoms? Will this drug encourage people to just take the medication since there are issues with using condoms in the first place? And lastly, should we be concerned about condom use declining?
We would love hear from you and get your thoughts!!!!!!!!