MIAMI - The Federal Drug Administration is considering final approval of Truvada, a breakthrough medication that prevents patients from contracting the virus that causes AIDS.
"What the FDA is considering is that we might actually get to a place where we are ending HIV," said Nike Blue with the AIDS Foundation.
Truvada can kill HIV before the virus takes hold.
A patient taking Truvada would even be able to have unprotected sex with an infected person without contracting the virus themselves. A woman with an HIV positive partner would also be able to get pregnant without a medical procedure. The medication could also be targeted to high risk groups, including prostitutes and drug addicts.
Some critics have said this would encourage risky behavior. Advocates said the positives far outweigh the negatives.
"We're not talking about passing this out to young teens or young adults, but to the folks who are putting themselves at risk and for them, this is their only means of protection," said Blue.
Travada needs to be taken once every day in order to be effective. Patients cannot skip doses.
The medication is also pricey. A yearly prescription is about $14,000.
"I see this as one tool in the tool box that already has a bunch of tools in it, but we still need more and there are more coming down the road," said Dr. Tom Giordano, HIV Clinic Director.
About 50,000 people contract HIV every year in the United States. That number has stayed roughly the same for the past 15 years.
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