From Reuters online:
U.S. health regulators last month approved Gilead Sciences Inc’s Truvada — already used globally to treat the human immunodeficiency virus — for preventing the infection in healthy people at high risk of contracting the virus that causes AIDS.
A number of factors will limit the drug’s use for preventing HIV, including the fact that in the United States many people most at risk of infection, as well as their sexual partners, do not have consistent access to healthcare. Even for those with coverage, insurance reimbursement for a $14,000-a-year drug is expected to be tricky.
In addition, therapy with the drug would require otherwise healthy young people to take a pill each day, plus show up for HIV testing every three months.
“There are a number of rather significant implementation challenges,” said Dr. Stephen Morin, director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California at San Francisco. “Part of it has to do with the requirement to take a pill a day, which could be addressed by a more long-term administration of the drug.”
Scientists are exploring a variety of tactics for using AIDS drug formulations to prevent HIV infection, including long-acting injections, gels and vaginal rings.
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