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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

During October 2016–September 2018, in 15 of 35 country or regional programs supported by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the increase in PrEP coverage among the general population was approximately triple that among female sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender women. Critical factors associated with successful PrEP implementation in these populations include stakeholder engagement, existing PrEP delivery guidelines, HIV service provider training, and a drug procurement system.

February 28, 2020
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Four decades after the HIV epidemic began, there’s finally hope it might end. Indeed, “Getting to Zero” — meaning zero new HIV infections — is a slogan used by the World Health Organization and others in fighting the epidemic.

February 26, 2020

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
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