The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first injectable medication for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to lower the risk of getting HIV through sex, it announced Monday. Apretude is approved for adults and teens who are at risk of getting HIV through sex and who weigh at least 77 pounds. It's given first as two shots a month apart, and every two months afterward. PrEP was previously available only in the form of pills, Truvada and Descovy.
"Today's approval adds an important tool in the effort to end the HIV epidemic by providing the first option to prevent HIV that does not involve taking a daily pill," said Dr. Debra Birnkrant, director of the Division of Antivirals in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Approval of the new drug "will be critical to addressing the HIV epidemic in the U.S., including helping high-risk individuals and certain groups where adherence to daily medication has been a major challenge or not a realistic option," Birnkrant added.