Px Wire: Making sense of the AIDS Conference, updated PrEP guidelines and contraceptive research

July 14, 2014

This latest issue of Px Wire comes out on the eve of the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia—and we begin with “AVAC’s Take” on key messages and commitments to look for at and after the meeting. The bottom line: turn talk into action.

 This means building on the recent UNAIDS definition of what ending AIDS means and when it should happen, and it means getting specific about how to turn guidelines into public health programs for impact.

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As Px Wire went to press, the World Health Organization launched new comprehensive guidance for HIV prevention and treatment for key populations. This includes a strong recommendation for offering oral PrEP in programs for gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). This development drew headlines and has the potential to expand access to strategic prevention for individuals who need it most. But as we note in our “Data Dispatch”, there are still only two demonstration projects ongoing in Africa—one of the geographies where gay men and other MSM have high rates of HIV—usually in the context of low levels of services and human rights protections. Without a clear plan for a suite of projects that answer key questions about PrEP in MSM as well as other populations who can benefit from PrEP, the new WHO guidance will not have the impact it should.

Px Wire also provides an update on the proposed ECHO trial, which seeks to measure the impact of different family planning methods on women’s risk of HIV. Originally set to test four contraceptive methods, the most recent trial protocol has just three arms—a change that reflects challenges fundraising for this research.

Our centerspread, features our redesigned website—including searchable databases, an infographics galley and our new blog, P-Values.