The two sides to Truvada

Doctors say the new pill is a huge victory in HIV prevention, but critics say its own effectiveness may lead to careless lifestyles.

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    Truvada is a major breakthrough in the fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS.

    The US Food and Drug Administration has stated that it is a "safe" and "effective" way of preventing the virus, and yet this little blue pill has already become something of a polarising force.

    There are those who say it is a major step towards the goal of finding a cure for the HIV virus, and clinical trials have backed those claims up.

    But others, some of whom have been fighting for years to get those at risk to use condoms and counselling, have concerns that Truvada may lead to a dangerous sense of invincibility.

    If taken every day, Truvada provides more protection against the HIV virus than any other drug available.

    Potential 'catastrophe'

    Having an excuse to not use a condom has led the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to describe the use of Truvada as a potential "catastrophe" that could undue years of safe-sex advocacy.

    But others, who are just as passionate in their fight against HIV and AIDS, say the issue comes down to personal choice and responsibility.

    When I talked to Charles Martin, at southern Florida's only AIDS awareness project , he called Truvada a "great new weapon in the arsenal against HIV and AIDS".

    Martin said the pill should be made available as soon as possible.

    Ultimately, it may be the cost of Truvada that decides its immediate fate.

    A daily dose will cost around $11,000 a year, and it is not immediately clear whether insurance companies in the US will cover the cost.

    Clearly, Truvada could have an impact way beyond the US in the 30-year-long battle to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS.

    For many, any hope and progress is a big leap in the right direction.


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