MADISON (WKOW) -- A drug used by people with HIV and AIDS could be made available to those without the virus.
A panel of advisors to the FDA endorsed Truvada Thursday night for preventative use. While some argue the prevention pill could save lives, others warn putting Truvada on the market could be a risky move.
"At this point in time, being positive this long, I'm very cautious when I hear these big flares of news," said Tim Lapp. Lapp has been HIV-positive since the mid-90s and has taken Truvada for about five years.
Lapp said, "What the drug does is keep the levels of the HIV virus in your body, in check."
Studies show Truvada cut the risk of new infection in couples where one partner had HIV, and the other did not. Lapp said his partner doesn't have HIV, but he wouldn't trust using just the pill. "I'm talking personally, I wouldn't put my partner at risk, it wouldn't be worth it to me," he said.
While some medical professionals say it could be a big step in decreasing the spread of HIV, prevention advocates warn of other effects.
"Our biggest concern is the false sense of security that it's going to maybe instill in the community," said Dan Guinn, executive director of AIDS Network in Madison. He continued, "What effect will that have on behavior and people taking part in risky behavior, will they stop wearing condoms -- stop using clean needles?"
The drug needs to be taken daily to be effective. It costs about $11,000 each year. If the FDA approves the drug for preventative use, insurance companies could potentially cover the costs for those without HIV.
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