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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

An HIV prevention trial involving women in South Africa that began offering PrEP in its final year found HIV incidence halved among participants, despite only one in four taking it.

June 28, 2021
Avert

Women who are at risk of HIV infection and are using HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) on a daily basis might in the near future have to use only one pill a month, if a trial conducted in SA and other parts of the world is successful.

June 26, 2021
Sowetan Live
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