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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. TDF/FTC is approved for use as oral PrEP in a handful of countries but, 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 NHS in England is to reconsider its controversial decision not to provide Truvada for HIV prevention.

April 19, 2016

James Krellenstein and Jeremiah Johnson write in the April issue of TAGline about the high cost of PrEP as a deterrent to increased uptake. They discuss problems with Gilead’s medical and co-pay assistance program (MAP/CAP), the company’s reluctance to prioritize PrEP and how Gilead is “profiting from its PrEP monopoly”. The article ends with recommendations for Gilead which include increasing CAP contribution and aggressively promoting CAP and MAP.

April 4, 2016
Treatment Action Group

Researchers at UNC Chapel Hill confirmed the importance of daily dosing of Truvada for HIV prevention, especially for women. The study, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, found that twice as much drug is needed to prevent HIV infection in vaginal and cervical tissue than rectal tissue due to the way the drug accumulates in different body tissues.

March 4, 2016
Science Daily
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