New medication helps in fight against HIV
WASHINGTON (ABC7) -- Historically the nation's capital has had one of the highest HIV infection rates in the country. But now a medication introduced four years ago is gaining traction in the fight against infection.
It's Truvada, commonly called PREP. When taken religiously it prevents the virus from taking hold in the bloodstream.
At Whitman Walker Health Clinic they have some 600 patients on prep. A clinic spokesperson says studies found no one who takes PEP everyday has become HIV positive.
The success rate has health care professionals touting PREP as an important weapon in the fight against HIV.
Nick Gordine says he had a close call with HIV four years ago. He started PREP at the time. Aside from some nausea the first day he has had no side effects and said his life continued as normal.
Also health insurance covers the medication and there are programs to help those who don't have insurance pay for it.
Health professionals warn PREP is not a one pill wonder. Since it does not prevent other STD's, they still recommend condom use.