The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a combined anti-retroviral medication known as, emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (FTC-TDF).
Emtricitabine/tenofovir combination is used with other medicines for the treatment of the infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medicine is also used as part of a complete prevention strategy (Pre-Exposure prophylaxis) to reduce the risk of getting HIV infection in adults that are at high risk.
However, this medication should be used “in combination with safer sex practices to prevent sexually-acquired HIV infection in adults at high risk and that this drug is not a substitute for safer sex practices, as what is stressed by the FDA.
So, how does this drug save HIV patients?
The Emtricitabine/tenofovir will not cure or prevent HIV infection or the symptoms of AIDS. It helps keep HIV from reproducing, and appears to slow down the destruction of the immune system. This may help delay the development of serious health problems usually related to AIDS or HIV infection.
Since this drug has also been use as part of the Pre-Exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), it has shown efficacy with men who have sex with men (MSM) and heterosexual women and men. Bio-medical prevention interventions such as PrEP have great potential, especially if coupled with traditional prevention approaches such as condom use, expanded testing, and linkage to treatment and care.
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