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Truvada: Not a magic bullet for preventing HIV

As you may have heard, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday approved the drug Truvada as a preventative measure for HIV-negative individuals who are at high-risk for contracting the virus. The pill, which is already used in patients with HIV, has been shown to reduce the risk of infection.

A segment on KQED's California Report today focused on some of the controversies surrounding Truvada’s approval, including concerns from doctors and researchers about how the drug could encourage users to forego safe sex practices. Andrew Zolopa, MD, director of the Stanford Positive Care Clinic, told reporter Joshua Johnson:

There’s no magic bullet here. It’s not just a pill by itself - it really does require careful prevention planning, safe sex education, the use of condoms… All of those things still are required as well as medical monitoring for the medication, because of course there are side effects to medications. All medications, even a medication as good as the one that’s just been approved for prevention, Truvada, do have side effects.

Previously: FDA panel recommends use of new cost-effective tool to curb AIDS epidemic, Preventing HIV with daily drug is costly but useful and Treat patients early to stop HIV spread, study finds

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