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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

The iPrEx trial of daily oral TDFT/FTC PrEP in gay men and transwomen studied the subset of participants who had hepatitis B to determine the effects of using and stopping this PrEP strategy on liver inflammation and other hepatitis B symptoms. This is because TDF/FTC is also active against hep B, so starting and stopping the medication for PrEP could have an impact on a common viral infection. In this study, there was no liver inflammation or other adverse events.

August 14, 2015

This special issue provides a concise summary at the data indicating how effective PrEP can be, guidance on finding a willing healthcare provider (or advice on how to turn an unwilling provider into a willing one), and things to consider when figuring out how to pay for PrEP. In addition, the issue features stories from activists and PrEP-takers.

August 3, 2015
Positively Aware

The new National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), now updated for 2015-2020, is focused heavily on prevention and includes a strong endorsement of PrEP as a strategic option. This article in BuzzFeed takes on six common misconceptions about PrEP and clarifies what the science really has to say about this blue pill.

August 2, 2015
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