This photo provided by Gilead Sciences shows Truvada. Federal drug regulators on Tuesday affirmed landmark study results showing that a popular HIV-fighting pill can also help healthy people avoid contracting the virus that causes AIDS in the first place. While the pill appears safe and effective for prevention, scientists stressed that it only works when taken on a daily basis. The Food and Drug Administration will hold a meeting Thursday to discuss whether Truvada should be approved for people who are at risks of contracting HIV through sexual intercourse. The agency's positive review posted Tuesday suggests the daily pill will become the first drug approved to prevent HIV infection in high-risk patients. (AP Photo/Gilead Sciences)
SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) -- A panel of federal health advisers has endorsed the first drug shown to prevent HIV infection in healthy people, clearing the way for a potentially landmark approval in the 30-year-old effort against the virus that causes AIDS.
In a series of votes, the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended approval of the daily pill Truvada for healthy people who are at high risk of contracting HIV, including gay and bisexual men and heterosexual couples with one HIV-infected person. The FDA is not required to follow the panel's advice, though it usually does. A final decision is expected by June 15.
Drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc. already markets Truvada as a treatment for people who are infected with HIV.