There is good news for South Africans who feel the idea of HIV has limited them from having all the fun they want to, especially in having as many sexual partners as they want to. In a recent turn of events, the pill known as Truvada which prevents HIV, was approved by the Medicines Control Council.
After two years since Aspen applied for it in 2013, the approval for the use of the drug in South Africa was announced on Tuesday by The control council which said it had a meeting sometime in November that led to the decision. It was not a light decision as many things were put into consideration before the decision to legalize its use for prevention. Such things would include the fear that people will get more reckless and will be more promiscuous since the drug offers them a way to eat their cake and have it.
Truvada has faced quite a number opposition in the US especially from Healthcare Foundations which argued that the legalization of the drug for prevention will give gay people all the authority they need to go on a full blast of promiscuity and recklessness. Their campaign against the drug reached South Africa at the Durban June Aids conference where they maintained their original stance that Africans would not take it properly and will abuse the drugs.
The Truvada works a 100% in preventing HIV but before now, it had been used with other antiretroviral (ARV) as treatment for HIV but never as a single prescription for prevention in South Africa. It was officially approved for prevention in 2012 by the US Food and Drug Administration.
This approval has seen that the efforts of some people like the Deputy Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Professor Linda Gail Bekker, paid off. Prof. Bekker was campaigning for the licensing of the drug because she says it is a cheaper and better way to prevent HIV infection especially in high risk groups such as young women‚ sex workers and gay and bisexual men. In celebration of the progress, she said
“Adding Truvada to the arsenal of tools available to battle HIV is a major step forward for South Africa. We are at a critical time and must be really serious about reducing new infections in all populations‚ especially those who are young and particularly vulnerable to infection.
“Our next step is to support the Department of Health to quickly figure out the best way to make Truvada available to those most at-risk for HIV infection. Turning off the tap to new infections is a maximum investment for the future of South Africa.”
Before now, Truvada was prescribed for prevention of the books, but even though it has been approved, it is not yet clear exactly when the drug will be freely available for prescription in prevention cases or if there would have to payment s to use it in high risk individuals.