Viewpoint: July 17, 2012

It is a huge victory in the 30-year battle against AIDS and it is especially meaningful for Baton Rouge. The FDA has approved the use of a drug called Truvada, which significantly reduces the  chances of HIV infection.

Local AIDS prevention groups applaud the FDA's action, as Baton Rouge now ranks number one in the nation per capita for AIDS cases. The Centers for Disease Control says 33 out of every 100,000 people in our area are newly diagnosed with AIDS.

But, while this new drug is a major milestone in the fight against AIDS, it should not be considered a free pass for risky behavior. It still comes down to personal responsibility. Experts say the first and most important step to prevent the spread of HIV is to get tested.

Strong personal awareness, coupled with the approval of this new drug, could finally see us reversing a dangerous trend.