South Africa approves HIV prevention drug Truvada

Truvada, an HIV prevention drug has been approved by South Africa’s Medicines Control Council. The drug, which can be taken by adults who are at high risk of getting HIV, helps to reduce the risk of getting HIV infection when used together with safer sex practices

South Africa’s Medicines Control Council (MCC) has approved Truvada, the HIV prevention drug, which can be taken by adults who are at high risk of getting HIV.

MCC said in a statement, it “approved the use of the fixed-dose combination of tenofovir disoproxyl fumarate and emtricitabine to include pre-exposure prophylaxis of HIV (commonly referred to as PrEP)”.

The drug was approved at MCC’s recently held meeting in November. The approval marks “a departure from the usual use of these antiretrovirals for the treatment of HIV infection,” the council said.

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n 2013, there were 330,000 new HIV infections in South Africa Photo: Anpei

The drug is already used in combination with other antiretroviral (ARV) as treatment for HIV, according to Truvada.

As a prevention, the drug helps to reduce the risk of getting HIV infection when used together with safer sex practices. “This use is only for adults who are at a high risk of getting HIV-1. This includes HIV-negative men who have sex with men and who are at high risk of getting infected with HIV-1 through sex, and male-female sex partners when one partner has HIV-1 and the other does not”.

According to reports, “South Africa has the biggest and most high profile HIV epidemic in the world, with an estimated 6.3 million people living with HIV in 2013. In the same year, there were 330,000 new infections”. The country’s 2012-2016 National Strategic Plan identifies key affected populationswhich include, men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who inject drugs, amongst other vulnerable groups.

Source: Medicines Control Council

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