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PrEP

PrEP works. Investment in more options must continue, and faster, smarter rollout must be a top priority.

Clinical trials have shown that different types of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) using antiretroviral (ARV) drugs dramatically reduce the risk of HIV infection for people who take it as directed. While PrEP won’t be right for every individual at risk for HIV, millions will benefit—if they can access this potentially life-saving option.

So far, PrEP’s implementation has been piecemeal. Meanwhile the landscape is changing as more options move through research, regulatory review or enter the market, intensifying the need to improve implementation.

TDF/FTC (brand name Truvada) was first approved for use as oral PrEP in 2012, now dozens of countries have approved it, but PrEP still has not reached many of the people who need it most. In 2019, F/TAF (brand name Descovy) became the 2nd oral PrEP product to be approved, but only for men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women. Efficacy studies of F/TAF among cisgender women are ongoing. Findings reported in 2020 show injectable cabotegravir is safe and effective and the product is undergoing regulatory review. For more information go to our dedicated pages on cabotegravir on AVAC.org and PrEPWatch.

For all these interventions and other ARVs still in the R&D pipeline, advocacy is crucial: There must be continued investment in the development of additional options, community engagement must be integrated from trial design to implementation, and improved programming must support those who need HIV prevention options the most.

Key Update

Over the weekend, we at AVAC and allies around the world witnessed history and gained hope as the results of the American presidential election (finally) got announced. News also came in that the HPTN 084 trial of injectable long-acting cabotegravir for HIV prevention in cisgender women found a high level of effectiveness at a scheduled interim data review.

November 9, 2020
AVAC
What We're Reading

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has helped to substantially reduce mortality, morbidity, and transmission rates for HIV. However, according to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), there are still 1.7 million new HIV infections each year.

October 6, 2021
Contagion Live

In this editorial, we appeal to the South African (SA) National and Provincial Departments of Health to urgently implement preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for pregnant and breastfeeding women at risk of HIV acquisition, in view of the persistent and unacceptably high rate of maternal HIV infection and transmission in SA.

October 6, 2021
SAMJ

According to the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is key to reducing new HIV diagnoses, but uptake in the US is still sub-par. That’s especially the case for populations that might benefit most: sexually active Black and Latinx men, people living in the South, and transgender women. Several sessions at the 2021 virtual IDWeek conference, held by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and other leading infectious disease organizations, explored how to increase PrEP use, plus the promise of long-acting PrEP in the HIV prevention research pipeline.

October 5, 2021
The BodyPro
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