US Approves Daily Pill To Treat HIV

Regulators in the US have approved a new pill to treat HIV infection for adults dealing with virus that causes AIDS.

A daily dosage of Stribid will work for adults who have not been on any other drug. Stribid is a departure from multi-pill to single pill drugs.

The combination drug was tested on 1,400 patients and brought virus readings down to undetectable levels in around nine of 10 patients after 48 weeks.

The company behind this development is now seeking approval in Australia, Canada and the European Union. For developing countries where HIV is most prevalent a generic version of the drug is being developed in conjunction with the Medicines Patent Pool.

Studies will still need to be taken to determine whether the drug is safe for children and women. It will also carry a warning of fatal side effects  including severe liver problems, and a build-up of lactic acid in the blood although Gilead says most side-effects were mild to moderate.

Another drug, Truvada was recently approved for healthy at-risk healthy individuals as an HIV-blocking pill. It can also be used as part of a cocktail with anti-retrovirals to treat HIV.