FDA approves first pill for preventing HIV

fda approves first pill for preventing hiv truvada preventative drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration made a major announcement late yesterday when it said a drug has been approved to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) for high risk patients. Known as Truvada, the pill can reduce the likelihood of patients contracting the virus if they have had sex with HIV-infected individuals.

In a clinical trial involving HIV-negative patients having unprotected sex with random partners, some of whom are HIV-positive, Truvada was able to effectively reduce the risk of HIV infection by 42 percent compared to patients taking a placebo. In a separate trial, heterosexual couples, where one partner was HIV-positive, had protected sex and the drug was able to reduce the risk of infection by 75 percent. Patients in both trials took Truvada once daily.

“The data clearly demonstrate that Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis is effective at reducing the risk of HIV infection acquired through sexual exposure,” Dr. Connie Celum, a professor of global health and medicine at the University of Washington who led the heterosexual couples trial, told Boston Globe’s Daily Dose. “It is exciting to consider the potential impact of this new HIV prevention tool, which could contribute to significantly reducing new HIV infections as part of a combination HIV prevention strategy.”

Of course, like all other risks of sexually transmitted disease, Truvada is more effective when used in combination with other safe sex methods. The drug is also approved to be used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV, though it should be clear that Truvada only helps prevent HIV contractions, not cure the disease. Truvada is expected to reach 75,000 American couples struggling with HIV.

“Today’s approval marks an important milestone in our fight against HIV,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg. “Every year, about 50,000 U.S. adults and adolescents are diagnosed with HIV infection, despite the availability of prevention methods and strategies to educate, test, and care for people living with the disease.”

A first of its kind, expect the Truvada treatment to be quite costly. A year of treatment in the United States is estimated to run at least $13,900 while safety risks for pregnant woman are still unknown. Other known side effects of Truvada include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, headache, and weight loss.

Wearables

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.
Emerging Tech

The CRISPR baby saga continues as China confirms second gene-edited pregnancy

China’s official Xinhua news agency has confirmed that a second woman has become pregnant as part of a controversial experiment to create the world’s first genetically edited babies.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.
Emerging Tech

‘Tech vest’ prevents Amazon workers from colliding with robot co-workers

Amazon workers at its fulfillment centers are using "tech vests" to help protect them from collisions with their robot co-workers. The robots already have obstacle avoidance sensors, but the belt offers another layer of safety.
Smart Home

Legrand’s Smart Lighting touts security, interoperability, and simple setup

Near universal connectivity including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Ring, and the Internet of Things is the theme of Legrand's Smart Lighting Radiant collection of switches, dimmers, outlets, and plugs.
Smart Home

Abode Systems upgrades its smart home gateway with new chip and Z-Wave Plus

Palo Alto-based Abode Systems is adding an upgrade to its popular smart home starter kit by replacing its central gateway with a second-generation version that supports cellular backup and enhanced Z-Wave support.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Smart Home

You can play NPR’s ‘Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me’ on your smart speaker

You can play "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" on Amazon Echo speakers or Google Home devices with the new Wait Wait Quiz. It's hosted by Peter Sagal and Bill Kurtis and will be updated every week with new questions.
Smart Home

Walabot Home, a device aimed at keeping seniors safe, expands its capabilities

When you have to be away from your elderly family members, Walabot Home can serve as your surrogate. This device can detect when your loved one falls and will call for help — no wearables or user input required.
Smart Home

Allergies acting up? Thes best air purifiers on the market can offer relief

Indoor air is often more contaminated than the air outside, which can cause an array of health issues over time. Luckily, these air purifiers can easily rid your home or office of unwanted allergens and contaminants.
Smart Home

Hackers hijack Nest camera, issue fake warning of North Korea missile attack

A Nest security camera hijacked by hackers who used the device to issue a fake warning about an incoming North Korean nuclear missile attack heading toward Los Angeles, Chicago, and Ohio.
Smart Home

Starbucks coffee delivery lands in 6 more cities via Uber Eats

Starbucks is in the process of expanding its coffee delivery service far beyond Miami. Available via the Uber Eats app, the service has just launched in San Francisco, with five additional cities joining in the coming weeks.