Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on April 25, 2016
Anthony Fauci, MD - Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
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Anthony Fauci, MD: What Truvada is, is a single pill that’s a combination of two antiretroviral drugs that have a long history of being used as part of a broader combination of therapy for the actual treatment of people who are HIV infected. The difference here it’s that it’s used in people as a pre-exposure prophylaxis or what we refer to as PREP. For people who are at considerable risk. PREP is not meant to substitute for other proven modalities of prevention. It’s meant to augment or supplement other things. Or if a person finds it extremely difficult for any of a number of complicated reasons, not to utilize another modality of prevention. Then we know, that taken in and of itself, if you do take the pill every day, this is a highly, highly effective method of prevention. But importantly, it shouldn’t be used as a complete substitute for other methods of prevention. It’s an interesting question that a lot of people ask that, would this then, get people’s guard down and feel that they’re now going to engage in behavior that’s more risky than before they took it. And it’s turned out interestingly, that that has not been the case. That the people who have taken PREP, in this case, Truvada, have not had any significant change in their behavioral patterns vis-à-vis the risks they take, which is good news.