Rutgers Dean Available to Speak on FDA’s Approval of Second Drug to Prevent HIV

New Brunswick, NJ – Rutgers School of Public Health dean and expert on HIV/AIDS is available to comment on the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a new drug, Descovy, for the prevention of HIV in men and transgender women. While the drug has been used for the treatment of HIV, the FDA has now approved it to be used as a method of HIV prevention, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Descovy, which is not approved for use in women, joins Truvada, the current HIV prevention mainstay. Both pharmaceuticals are made by Gilead.

“Descovy is yet another tool that we have in our arsenal to end HIV transmission – a desire that numerous state, national, and global organizations and governments share,” said Halkitis, who has been studying the disease for over two decades.

While Descovy is not approved for use in women, Halkitis’ states that this is a protective measure for women’s health.

“When HIV medications were first introduced in the 90s, they were exclusively tested on men. When used in women, we saw severe side effects and complications. The current limitation on Descvoy’s use is protective of women’s health, especially since Truvada, an equally effective alternative for HIV prevention is approved for safe use by women.”

Media contact: Michelle Edelstein, mse46@sph.rutgers.edu or 732-427-6232.

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