Momentum for PrEP and Other News from USCA

November 30, 2012

In October, AVAC’s Kevin Fisher and Deirdre Grant and a number of PxROAR program members descended on Las Vegas for the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA). USCA is a US-focused conference that largely attracts front-line providers from AIDS service organizations.

This was AVAC’s fourth year presenting on PrEP at USCA, but importantly the first time since the United States FDA approved an indication for daily oral TDF/FTC (Truvada) as PrEP in July. Kevin and Deirdre led a seminar session PrEP can protect women and men against HIV! What do we need to know and do so we can translate results into public health impact? Over 75 people engaged in discussions on the state of PrEP research/implementation—the largest audience AVAC has had for this type of session at USCA—highlighting the growing need for information about PrEP, especially in translating research to rollout.

The audience participated in an energetic debate about whether at next year’s USCA, they thought they would be talking about how their communities had integrated PrEP into local HIV prevention efforts. In a reversal from previous years, almost everyone in the room was supportive of the idea that PrEP would be a part of their local prevention efforts. Previous questions surrounding PrEP have begun to be answered and its potential as a new—and needed—HIV prevention option is seen.

PxROAR members were also busy at USCA. Nichole Little led a roundtable discussion on PrEP and women based largely on her ROAR work—Sex, Biomedical HIV Prevention & The New Millennium Woman: Is PrEP The Answer For Me? Kieta Mutepfa helped facilitate a session on Strategies for HIV Prevention Message Development in Specialized Populations: A Case Study of Empowering Young MSM of Color in Los Angeles as Advocates for PrEP. Ebony Johnson was a speaker at the Opening Plenary Breakfast addressing what can be done to turn the tide of the epidemic among women and ensure social and health equity for all women in the United States.