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A pill called Truvada is being tested by the University of California as a potential HIV prevention.
The UC-based California HIV/AIDS Research Program, or CHRP, has been awarded grants that equal to around $11.8 million to see if the current HIV drug can actually be used to prevent the virus.
Truvada was originally approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 2004 to treat HIV patients. Since then, an international trial has revealed that it has worked as a preventive measure in a select few gay and bisexual populations.
The trial has revealed that overall, it prevented HIV infection in 44 percent of the population, and those who took the pill more consistently, had a reduction of 73 percent.
The current study being performed will take place in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Long Beach on nearly 700 gay and bisexual men, as well as transgender women, who are at high-risk but not infected. Another team is also in Oakland, Richmond, Berkeley, and other East Bay locations and will test it on young gay and bisexual men of color.
Truvada’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, Inc., has sent in an application to the FDA to be reviewed. They hope that by summer, the drug will be approved as an HIV prevention pill.