In an interview with AFP, Gottfried Hirnschall, the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS chief, said that “a fairly large arsenal of drugs” is currently available to someday end new infections of HIV. Due to research breakthroughs, the world now “has 26 antiretroviral (ARV) drugs on the market and more in the pipeline for treating people” with HIV, and in 2010, 700,000 people with HIV were kept alive thanks to the ARV medications. What’s more, WHO suggests that the new drugs may be able to prevent HIV transmission and infection of healthy people. According to AFP, one such drug already exists, and “a U.S. advisory panel has urged the Food and Drug Administration to approve the first-ever HIV prevention pill…for use in some high-risk populations.” Next week, Hirschnall will be attending the International AIDS conference in Washington, the first since 1990.
This afternoon the FDA officially approved Truvada, an HIV prevention pill that has been on the market since 2004. This is the first time an oral pill has been given the FDA seal of approval for combating HIV infections.