MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -The drug Truvada has been helping HIV patients like Dewayne Hollis stay healthy. He's been living a healthy life for years.
"It's a blessing it was a truly blessing, because before I caught the virus a lot of other people passed away," says Hollis.
Now, the drug isn't just for people who are HIV positive. In late July, Truvada was approved by the Federal Drug Administration for a different type of use. Healthy people can take this drug to reduce their risk of becoming infected by a sexual partner who is HIV positive.
Dr. Harold Katner's seen this drug in action. Katner is the Chief of Infectious Disease at Mercer University School of Medicine. He's recently used Truvada to help couples get pregnant.
"Since a patient can live a normal life if they take their HIV medications, if one's got it and one doesn't we try to help them have a normal life," says Katner.
Dr. Katner says he's only used the drug in this type of setting coupled with other drugs to help reduce the risk even further.
"I haven't just willy-nilly started ordering the drug for people who anticipate having sex with AIDS patients. The only type of setting I've used it in is pregnancy."
A year supply of the drug could cost up to $14,000. Even though it was FDA approved, the drug only reduces risk of transmission by about 40%. Katner says Truvada isn't a substitute for protection. Hollis agrees.
"Whether you taking the medication or not, use a condom," says Hollis.