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Condoms must be used with new HIV preventative pill

The health dept says people must use condoms and not rely on just the pill alone.

Condoms. Picture: sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - The Health Department has urged South Africans to continue using condoms, saying solely relying on a new pill to prevent HIV infection, would be dangerous and irresponsible.

The drug, Truvada, has now been approved by the Medicines Control Council (MCC) to be used as a preventative measure.

In 2013 Aspen applied for Truvada to be used as a preventative measure, but the MCC took two years to approve it.

There are concerns in some quarters that it may promote unsafe sex and promiscuity.

The department's Joe Maila said the introduction of the new drug will definitely improve the number of newly infected HIV patients.

But he said the pill will only be prescribed with strict conditions.

Maila said only those who hand in an application to the MCC will be given the pills.

"We believe that it's something that will assist, however, the HIV/AIDS is something that needs to be prevented and therefore we must do all other things that we've to make sure that indeed it's preventable. We need to continue use condoms."

The medicine has a success rate of up to 100 percent but has also been widely criticised globally.

There are concerns in some quarters that it may promote unsafe sex and promiscuity.