August 4, 2015
On July 19, AVAC convened a satellite session, Injectable Options and Preventable Confusion: An Update and Interactive Discussion on the Pipeline of Antibodies, Long-acting ARVS and Vaccines. This session, part of the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, featured presentations on trials of long-acting injectable PrEP agents by Mike Cohen (HPTN and UNC), Larry Corey (HVTN) gave an update on HIV vaccine research and John Mascola (NIAID Vaccine Research Center) reviewed the state of passive antibody infusions for prevention. The presentations were then discussed by a panel that included Brian Kanyemba (Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation), Veronica Noseda (Sidaction) and Jerome Singh (CAPRISA).
The session provided a moment to consider what might be coming for HIV prevention. The speakers provided a guide to the prevention pipeline. The three approaches that the speakers highlighted—injectable PrEP, an HIV vaccine and passive antibodies—are in trials now. All three approaches, even if they show efficacy, are years from being implemented. But the HIV field must be ready, and must prepare now.
These updates were particularly relevant at a conference that was focused heavily on ART—whether the START results establishing the health benefits of early treatment, or the expanding implementation of daily oral PrEP globally and in different populations.
The lessons from and, ideally, successes of implementation of early treatment and PrEP that will emerge in the months and years after this discussion will provide a roadmap for these new options if they become available. Speakers emphasized the challenge of success. As Glenda Gray said at the session “We are used to failure in HIV prevention but market failure for effective interventions is the thing that worries me the most.”