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AVAC in the News

  • A new, long-lasting drug could be a game-changer for preventing HIV infections, experts say. Advocates are hopeful that those who need it most in low- and middle-income countries will not have to wait for it as long as they have for previous HIV drugs. But questions remain about access and price. The drug is called cabotegravir and is delivered as a shot once every other month. In clinical trials, it did a better job at preventing infection than another option — a pill taken once a day.

    December 1, 2022
    VOA
  • Mitchell Warren, Executive Director of AVAC, talks HIV prevention, access to medicine, treatment and ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

    December 1, 2022
    General
    ABC News
  • HIV prevention pills are becoming more widely available in South Africa and the country is set to soon start piloting the use of an HIV prevention injection and vaginal ring. But merely having these pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) tools available in clinics and other places does not mean people will use them. This dynamic is nothing new.

    December 1, 2022
    Spotlight
  • PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) has become such a central part of HIV prevention that it can be hard to remember that in the decade before its 2012 approval by the US Food and Drug Administration, “PrEP was a code word for unethical research.” So says Mitchell Warren, longtime head of the HIV prevention advocacy group AVAC, recalling how, in the 2000s, early trials to determine PrEP’s efficacy fell apart in Cameroon, Nigeria, and Thailand amid accusations from activists that researchers were not treating trial subjects ethically—for instance, by not necessarily guaranteeing lifetime HIV tre

    November 22, 2022
    TheBody
  • In the village in Kenya where Swiry Nyar Kano (not her real name) grew up, sex and diversity weren’t talked about much. The topics didn’t come up in conversation with her parents, and at school she was taught about human anatomy and “sexual immorality”, and told that homosexuality was a sin. “I grew up in society where sex was about having babies and that was about it,” says the social media influencer. “Sexuality was never mentioned. Nobody ever talked about it so I started seeking answers for myself.”

    November 22, 2022
    General
    The Guardian
  • For seven years, a daily pill has been available in South Africa to protect people from getting HIV. But when Victoria Makhandule, a community health worker, counsels the young women in her township about the medication, they tell her it doesn’t work for them. These young women are among the most vulnerable in the world to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, but they say the daily pills, known as PrEP, bring their own challenges. The women may spend an unexpected night away from home and miss a dose, or forget for a day or two.

    September 27, 2022
    The New York Times
  • Women at risk of acquiring HIV have increasing antiretroviral-based options for HIV prevention, with long-acting injectable cabotegravir and oral tenofovir-based tablets approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The dapivirine vaginal ring received a favourable scientific opinion by the European Medicines Agency in 2020, was recommended by WHO in 2021, and has been approved for PrEP use in several African countries.

    September 27, 2022
    The Lancet HIV
  • A federal judge in Texas has ruled that a provision of the Affordable Care Act that mandates free coverage of certain drugs that prevent HIV infections violates the religious beliefs of a Christian-owned company. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor came in response to a lawsuit filed by Jonathan Mitchell, a former Texas solicitor general and a conservative activist, on behalf of Braidwood Management Inc. and other self-described Christian employers and employees.

    September 7, 2022
    NBC News
  • Someone was blowing a whistle. A crowd with placards surged into the conference room, chanting “PrEP costs pennies, ViiV’s greed kills”. Not an obvious slogan, but everyone in the room knew what it meant. The protesters took over the stage, denouncing “pharma’s greed” at the microphone. On the platform, those whose session had been interrupted smiled, even applauded. “Thank you for your advocacy. Please allow the session to continue,” read prepared slides on the overhead screens.

    August 3, 2022
    The Guardian
  • Someone was blowing a whistle. A crowd with placards surged into the conference room, chanting “PrEP costs pennies, ViiV’s greed kills”. Not an obvious slogan, but everyone in the room knew what it meant. The protesters took over the stage, denouncing “pharma’s greed” at the microphone. On the platform, those whose session had been interrupted smiled, even applauded. “Thank you for your advocacy. Please allow the session to continue,” read prepared slides on the overhead screens.

    August 3, 2022
    The Guardian

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