MED REVIEW MONDAY
Truvada is the most prescribed antiretroviral medication in America for the treatment of HIV. This week news broke that the Gilead pharmaceutical company plans to propose the drug for approval from the FDA for the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis of HIV. Limited studies so far have shown that when taken consistently, the drug may provide up to 73% protection from contracting the virus. One problem standing in the way of accurate studies is compliance: to be effective the pill must be taken once a day, but subjects have complained of severe nausea causing them to miss doses. There are also concerns that this drug may be seen from the public’s perspective as an excuse to stop using standard methods of HIV prevention (such as condoms) - resulting in higher rates of other STDs. More clinical trials must be performed, but due to it’s potential use for at risk populations, the FDA may fast-track the approval process (which can usually take several years).