The first ever pill to prevent HIV infections was approved Monday by the Food and Drug Administration.
Truvada has been on the market since 2004 for the treatment of HIV positive patients. But, now it is approved for daily use to help prevent infection in people who are considered high risk.
There are still some concerns with prescribing the drug for preventative use.
Truvada is manufactured in California and is already widely used. But, now people who are HIV negative can use the drug if they engage in high-risk behaviors, like not using condoms.
A study by the New England Journal of Medicine shows daily use of Truvada could reduce the transmission of HIV by up to 75 percent in heterosexual couples.
Audrey Chavez, who founded The Bakersfield Aids Project, says this is a big step.
"We are constantly battling sexually transmitted infections, not just HIV, but many others. So any tool, any opportunity, any hope that is available that shows hope such as this is a good thing," said Chavez.
The drug, however, can have major side effects, like bone thinning and kidney problems.
One of the other issues is price. The drug costs nearly $1,200 per month, so it may not be that practical as a preventative measure for a lot of people.
"I think it's great, but at this point in the game it is impractical because the people who most need it are not going to go 'Hey let me go call my HMO or my insurance provider that I don't have and see what's the reimbursement on this'," said Reville Niccolls, Kern County Aids Advisory Board.
Especially, Niccolls says, when you compare it to the price of a box of condoms.
But, taking the drug may still provide comfort and another layer of protection for couples.
"I think it's going to be very instrumental in relationships where there are partners where there is someone who is married to someone else who is HIV positive. I think it is an extra tool of prevention that will be helpful," said Chavez.
For use as a preventative measure, the FDA recommends patients get tested to ensure they are HIV negative and continue testing every three months.
There are about 50,000 people diagnosed with HIV each year in the United States.