SILVER SPRING, Md. (WUSA) -- A Food Drug Administration panel is expected to vote Thursday on whether to approve the first drug to prevent HIV in healthy people.
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 percent in gay men who took it daily.
Dr. Robert Grant from 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 drugs. HIV patients on Truvada are far less likely to develop AIDS and their symptoms are reduced.
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.
Healthcare providers also raise concerns about Truvada's price tag of $900 dollars a month.
The FDA doesn't have to follow the advice of the panel, but usually does. The advisory panel is made up of outside experts mainly from medical schools.