LIVING HEALTHY Published January19, 2016 By Czarelli Tuason

Truvada: HIV Preventive Pill Is ‘As Safe As Daily Aspirin’

(Photo : By: Justin Sullivan | Getty Images)

A new study has confirmed that taking the daily pill Truvada as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV is as safe as taking an aspirin daily to prevent heart attack, reported Inquisitr on Sunday.

Authorities previously announced that Truvada, when taken daily, is 92 percent effective in significantly reducing a person's risk of contracting HIV.

The drug was also previously compared to aspirin in terms of its health risks and both were found to be safe. However, as with all drugs, both aspirin and Truvada have adverse effects, some of which they both share. This includes vomiting, weight loss and dizziness.

Truvada has caught the attention and support of many organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), making the drug readily available to men who are seeking to prevent getting HIV. The U.K. however, has not yet made Truvada available in the country.

"A lot of the concerns I hear from providers are about safety," noted Jeffrey Klausner, lead author of the study and professor of medicine and public health at the University of California. "There have been continued voices saying, 'Wouldn't it just be better if people used condoms, or reduced their number of partners?' Those are important strategies, but they don't work for everyone."

According to Telegraph on Thursday, Truvada could save 59 percent or 10,000 people in the U.K. from contracting HIV by the year 2020 based on a study published in the journal Lancet HIV, which also recommended for the drug to be offered on the NHS.

England's health practitioners are looking at offering the drug to men at risk of HIV, which cost around £5,000 a year, and is expected to be available in the country's clinics within the year.

"Current prevention efforts in the UK that focus on correct and consistent condom use and regular HIV testing have been falling short," said Narat Punyacharoensin, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the study's lead author. "Our results show that pre-exposure prophylaxis offers a major opportunity to curb new infections and could help reverse the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men in the UK."

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