Truvada, used to treat people with HIV, also helps prevent the virus from infecting healthy people.
Truvada, used to treat people with HIV, also helps prevent the virus from infecting healthy people.

U.S. officials have approved what they call the first drug on the market that reduces the risk of HIV infection in those who are free of the virus that causes AIDS.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday that the drug Truvada now can be used daily in combination with safer sex practices to reduce the risk of sexually-acquired HIV infection in adults at high risk.

In a statement, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the approval marks an important milestone in the fight against HIV.  She added that every year, about 50,000 U.S. adults and adolescents are diagnosed with the infection.

The FDA previously approved Truvada to be used in combination with other antiretroviral agents to treat HIV-infected adults and children 12 years and older.

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