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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.

Key Update

In October, the US FDA approved a new daily oral PrEP strategy using F/TAF (brand name Descovy). This next generation of oral PrEP is garnering criticism, prompting innovation in trial design and raising questions.

November 6, 2019
What We're Reading

The Department of Health aims to make a pill to prevent HIV infection available at all community health centres and primary healthcare clinics in South Africa by the end of September this year.

February 5, 2020

Claims about the superiority of Descovy, the new pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) option, are “overstated,” and Truvada remains a highly effective and safe choice for the vast majority of PrEP users, according to a commentary in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

January 14, 2020

We have shown that healthcare workers who are experienced at delivering advice on daily PrEP do not necessarily have the same skills and confidence about on-demand PrEP. Appropriate resources and tools are thus required to increase healthcare workers’ knowledge and confidence to both discuss and provide on-demand PrEP to MSM, particularly those from diverse backgrounds.

January 7, 2020
Sex Transm Infect
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