Research shows the drug Truvada can prevent the spread of HIV in high risk people.
A recent three year study found the pill cut the risk of infection over 90% in gay men who took it daily. Dr. Robert Grant is with the University of California, San Francisco. "I think we are in an era now for the first time where we can see the end of the AIDS epidemic."
Truvada is already approved to treat people infected with HIV. It's a combination of two older HIV drugs. HIV patients on Truvada are far less likely to develop AIDS and their symptoms are reduced. Every year, 50,000 people in the U.S. get infected with HIV - a trend for the past two decades.
Some groups are concerned using Truvada for prevention would cause more HIV cases. Michael Weinstein, President of the Aids Healthcare Foundation, fears it could lead to riskier behavior. "If people are told to pop a pill and that's the solution, it's going to be very difficult to get people to use condoms."
Studies show Truvada needs to be taken daily to be effective. Many worry young, healthy people would not take the pill as recommended. "We need to get to the point where everyone is using at least one, ideally two ways of preventing the spread of HIV," says Dr. Grant.
And health care providers also raise concerns about Truvada's price tag. It costs about $900 a month.