Global HIV Prevention Advocates Call for Accelerated Timeline for Widespread Access to Injectable Lenacapavir for PrEP

A Joint Statement

July 8, 2024

Today a global cadre of HIV prevention advocates is calling for an accelerated timeline for access to the HIV prevention drug lenacapavir. Gilead, the developer of the drug, announced topline results from a large study among cisgender African women on 20 June, followed shortly thereafter with a statement about access

There is much to do before this twice-yearly HIV prevention option can be included in comprehensive prevention programs, and this coalition of civil society groups is calling for all stakeholders to urgently come together to apply lessons of past PrEP introduction to accelerate the timeline for this important new option to become widely available to those who need and want to use it.

“This is an incredibly important day for African women. Twice-yearly injectable lenacapavir will be an important addition to HIV prevention choices and has the potential to expand access to more women who need and want effective prevention options.”

Ntokozo Zakwe, Community Media Trust in South Africa and a member of the PURPOSE 1 Global Community Advisory Group (GCAG)

“African women need and want new HIV prevention options. We need everyone who has a role to play in bringing lenacapavir to our communities to prioritize the most progressive timeline the world has seen for rollout of a new prevention option, while collaborating with civil society and advocates to ensure introduction plans will result in uptake and impact.”

Chilufya Kasanda Hampongo of Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign in Zambia and a co-leader of the Civil Society Caucus of the Coalition to Accelerate Access to Long-Acting PrEP

Leaders of the PURPOSE 1 Global Community Accountability Board (GCAG), the Civil Society Caucus of the Coalition to Accelerate Access to Long-Acting PrEP, the African Women Prevention Community Accountability Board, and the Coalition to Accelerate and Support Prevention Research (CASPR) have partnered with AVAC to identify the following actions for Gilead, regulators, normative agencies, funders and national policymakers:

  • All stakeholders must prioritize and uplift community voices and community choices for including lenacapavir in the range of HIV prevention options that offer the widest choice to the most people.
  • Gilead should prioritize and quickly share analysis of the data from PURPOSE 1 and begin submission to multiple regulatory agencies on an accelerated and parallel schedule, with the potential to add data from PURPOSE 2 (among other studies) on a rolling basis to the regulatory portfolio. At the same time, national regulatory agencies need to be ready to review the data once submitted and act swiftly in making regulatory decisions.
  • WHO must begin preparations now for including lenacapavir, once approved, in HIV prevention guidelines as swiftly as possible, in time for regulatory approval.
  • Gilead should transparently share clear plans for pricing of lenacapavir and access for communities most in need, and commit to providing enough drug to support early launch and rollout.
  • Following Gilead’s announcement last week that they are developing a direct voluntary licensing program for lenacapavir, it is imperative that Gilead grants non-exclusive licenses to multiple generic manufacturers in multiple geographies before the end of the year; that license agreements are made publicly available; and that the licenses include access to finished product based on public health imperatives, and not on World Bank country classifications or geographical location. 
  • PEPFAR and the Global Fund should work urgently with other donors and Ministries of Health to negotiate price and volume guarantees with Gilead to ensure there is a sustainable supply for the initial introduction period until generics are registered and readily available.
  • Funders, Ministries of Health, implementers and civil society partners need to collaboratively ​​design a comprehensive introduction strategy that breaks the sequential nature of traditional approaches to scale and speed up introduction. Part of accelerating speed is moving toward a parallel approach where research, implementation science, and scale-up programs are designed, funded and implemented in parallel. All stakeholders, working through the Coalition to Accelerate Access to Long-Acting PrEP, should commit to developing a robust introduction strategy ahead of regulatory approvals and WHO guidelines to ensure time is not lost.
  • Ministries of Health and policymakers must work together and with donors to ensure lenacapavir is integrated swiftly into national guidelines and prevention programs and made available to all populations for which the drug is approved and recommended.
  • Ministries of Health, policy makers and donors must work to ensure strategic demand creation and health-systems strengthening to support robust HIV prevention programs that provide a full range of HIV prevention options that allow people to choose what works best for them.
  • All stakeholders must commit to speeding long-term access to lenacapavir to trial participants and to the women in the communities that hosted the study in parallel with increasing access to a full range of HIV prevention options to those who need and want them.

Advocates know that there are many more actions that will be needed to ensure lenacapavir and other HIV prevention options are widely available. Transparency, speed, scale and cooperation are essential as we work to end HIV as a public health threat.

“We have never seen such a good outcome from an HIV prevention trial, and to see such a result first among African women is groundbreaking. Gilead listened to advocates and followed Good Participatory Practice Guidelines to include two of the populations most in need of  HIV prevention – adolescent girls and pregnant women – in the study. National prevention programs must also prioritize these populations in PrEP programs that will provide lenacapavir.”

Lillian Mworeko, ICW East Africa and a leader of the African Women Prevention Community Accountability Board

“Results like this are what we’ve been waiting for throughout decades of HIV prevention research. We know what is needed now to move this drug swiftly to communities. Civil society stands ready as watchdogs of the process and as essential partners in a successful rollout.”

Stacey Hannah, director of the Coalition to Accelerate and Support Prevention Research (CASPR) and AVAC’s director of research engagement

Results from the ongoing PURPOSE 2 study among cisgender men who have sex with men, transgender men, transgender women and gender non-binary individuals who have sex with partners assigned male at birth are expected in late 2024 or early 2025. This second pivotal study will provide data, not just for gay men, but for trans and gender non-binary people, populations that have often been ignored by HIV prevention studies. Data for PURPOSE 2, along with PURPOSE 3, 4 and 5 studies, will provide the most comprehensive range of data across populations that has been seen to date. A schematic of the suite of studies is here.

“We eagerly await the PURPOSE 2 data and hope to see similar results for the populations represented in that study who also need new choices for HIV prevention. Lenacapavir has the possibility of transforming the HIV prevention landscape and changing the lives of millions of people around the world. There must be no delays in making it available globally. Now more than ever, we need speed, scale and equity to ensure we get impact.”

Mitchell Warren, AVAC’s executive director.


  • PURPOSE 1 Global Community Accountability Board (GCAG): The PURPOSE 1 and 2 efficacy trials each include Global Community Accountability Groups (GCAGs). Members of the GCAGs include leaders in HIV advocacy and experience with engagement in research and  development. Individual trial sites also have their own community-specific community advisory board, creating multiple layers of advocacy feedback.
  • Civil Society Caucus of the Coalition to Accelerate Access to Long-Acting PrEP: Established in 2022 to ensure civil society expertise influences the rollout of long-acting PrEP options, this Caucus includes representation from many civil society groups working on longer-acting PrEP introduction. These include, but are not exclusive to, the following: African Women Community Prevention Accountability Board; AfroCAB; APCOM; AVAC; Coalition to Accelerate and Support Prevention Research (CASPR); Frontline AIDS; Global Black Gay Men Connect (GBGMC); the Global Key Population Advisory Group; and ITPC.
  • African Women Prevention Community Accountability Board: The Accountability Board led the development of the Choice Manifesto and works ensure that the manifesto is translated into reality for all women, and is composed of 12 women from 7 countries representing East and Southern African nations.
  • Coalition to Accelerate and Support Prevention Research (CASPR): CASPR is an Africa-led coalition of 13 partners, funded by USAID and supported by AVAC, working together to change how HIV prevention is pursued and delivered. CASPR activities are focused primarily in key African countries with the highest burden of new HIV infections, and where biomedical HIV prevention research is ongoing or planned.
  • AVAC: AVAC is an international non-profit organization that provides an independent voice and leverages global partnerships to accelerate ethical development and equitable delivery of effective HIV prevention options, as part of a comprehensive and integrated pathway to global health equity.