FDA panel backs first pill to block HIV infection

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.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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