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Oral tenofovir-based PrEP works. Faster, smarter rollout must be a top priority.

Recent clinical trials have shown clearly that daily, oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) using the antiretroviral drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine dramatically reduces the risk of HIV infection for men and women who take it as directed. While PrEP won’t be right for every individual at risk for HIV, untold numbers of men and women will benefit – if they can access this potentially life-saving option.

So far, PrEP’s implementation has been piecemeal and incomplete. The pace and demand are picking up in the United States. In other countries, including some where the research took place, there is limited or no access. For maximum impact, PrEP rollout needs a coherent, global strategy involving many real-world demonstration projects, other research, and guidance from global health agencies. At the same time, research into new PrEP formulations—such as intermittent use of pills, or quarterly injections—could help improve adherence and achieve PrEP’s full potential.

What We're Reading

A report released by the US CDC finds that roughly 1.2 million people would benefit from PrEP based on their reported rates of otherwise unprotected risk behavior. That’s about 60 times higher than current estimates, which suggest about 21,000 people take the drug.

November 24, 2015

TIME Magazine staff writer Alice Park discusses new data published in JAMA, PrEP’s “image problem”, and why now is the time for cities and states to follow San Francisco’s lead and make PrEP widely available.

November 16, 2015
TIME Magazine
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