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In a notable development, the first long-acting injectable shot for preventing HIV was approved by the Food and Drug Administration this week, ushering in what could be a new era in the battle against AIDS.

The medicine, which is called Apretude, offers a significant advancement in combating what continues to be a highly infectious disease. In 2019, approximately 36,800 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with HIV and an estimated 34,800 were infected that same year, according to the latest data from the federal government. As many as 1.2 million Americans, meanwhile, are believed to be living with the disease.

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