Pre-exposure pill shows promise protecting against HIV infection but it's pricey (Dr. Julio Montaner)

The disclosure by HIV-positive actor Charlie Sheen’s ex-girlfriend that she took a pill to prevent her from getting the disease has focused attention on Truvada.

The pill, which has been shown to reduce infection in HIV-negative partners of those with HIV by more than 90 per cent, is approved for that purpose in the U.S. but in Canada the drug’s two ingredients are approved only for use to combat HIV.

Dr. Julio Montaner of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS said Truvada should be prescribed for sex workers or men who have sex with men but not for intravenous drug users “because there are several harm reduction strategies available” for drug users.

Susan Lazaruk reports.

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