Join us for CROI 2024!

AVAC and partners have worked to follow and explain the research presented at CROI for many years, making the science more accessible, connecting the findings to community priorities, and ensuring civil society and affected communities are represented within the program, and ultimately the research.

Join us at CROI 2024!

Dear Advocate, 
 
The 31st annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) kicks off this weekend, and runs from March 3-6 in Denver, Colorado. CROI is the go-to forum for groundbreaking science in the HIV field, and this years’ program is full of exciting new research.  

At AVAC, we’re tracking data and discussion on long-acting, injectable PrEP; the dapvirine vaginal ring (DVR) in pregnancy; doxycycline as post-exposure prophylaxis (DoxyPEP) to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs); and the latest in HIV cure and control. We’re also very excited for this year’s Martin Delaney Presentation – Unveiling the Power of Uganda’s LGBTIQ Advocacy in Shaping HIV Response and Health Care Access – that will be delivered by Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) in Uganda and couldn’t be more timely. Be sure to check out the conference program.  

AVAC and partners have worked to follow and explain the research presented at CROI for many years, making the science more accessible, connecting the findings to community priorities, and ensuring civil society and affected communities are represented within the program, and ultimately the research. For those attending or not, this email shares ways to follow along and join in the discussion and debate. 

 Follow Along 
 Be part of the conversation by following AVAC on X (Twitter) at @hivpxresearch for real-time updates using the conference hashtag #CROI2024, and be sure to sign up and follow our partner, Aidsmap, who will be reporting from the conference. 
 
Community Breakfast Clubs (CROI registration not required 
 Join the CROI Community Liaisons, AVAC, the European AIDS Treatment Group, and partners for daily Community Breakfast Clubs. These virtual webinars feature researchers and advocates discussing some of the most consequential science being presented at CROI. They are open to all, CROI registrants and non-registrants alike.  
 

Monday, 4 March, 7:00am – 8:00am MT (Click here to determine the time in your location.) 

Spotlight on Social and Behavioural Science at CROI 2024 

Tuesday, 5 March, 7:00am – 8:00am MT (Click here to determine the time in your location.) 

Living with HIV for a Lifetime – It’s Complicated 

Wednesday, 6 March, 7:00am – 8:00am MT (Click here to determine the time in your location.) 

Research Roundup: Scientists and Advocates Offer Fresh Perspectives and Seasoned Analyses of CROI 2024 Research 

Looking forward to seeing you at the daily Breakfast Club sessions and to working together to unpack the research and be sure it is applied! 

 
Best, 
AVAC 

Cumulative PrEP Initiations

2016-2025

In 2020, the world missed the UNAIDS’ goal of reaching 3 million PrEP users. The updated target for 2025 is 10 million. Is the 2025 target achievable based on the current trends in PrEP uptake? Excerpted from an issue of PxWire.

New Product Introduction Update

Spotlight on Eastern and Southern Africa

As of January 2024, 17 studies are ongoing. Ten other studies await supplies of injectable CAB, expected in the first half of 2024. Excerpted from an issue of PxWire.

PxWire Volume 14, Issue No. 1

A Quarterly Update on HIV Prevention Research

PxWire is AVAC’s quarterly update covering the latest in the field of biomedical HIV prevention research and development, implementation and advocacy. Each issue includes updates, emerging issues and upcoming events. A PDF version of this report is also available.

Progress in PrEP Uptake

In 2020, the world missed the UNAIDS’ goal of reaching 3 million PrEP users. The updated target for 2025 is 10 million. Is the 2025 target achievable based on the current trends in PrEP uptake? Applying an Autoregressive Integrated Moving Averages (ARIMA) model to data from the Global PrEP Tracker since Q3 2016, we forecasted cumulative PrEP initiations through 2025. Based on this model, the world will surpass 10 million global cumulative PrEP initiations by Q1 2025, and by Q4 it will reach 12.4 million. This data reflects oral PrEP initiations, not continued use.

  • PrEP users and PrEP initiations are different. Data on initiations do not distinguish between new versus repeat PrEP users. We are unable to predict if the UNAIDS goal of achieving 10 million PrEP users by 2025 will be successful. This forecast shows the possibility and the promise of current momentum. But fulfilling this promise is not certain. It depends on overcoming key challenges around access and choice.
  • These updates from AVAC’s Global PrEP Tracker analyze trends and showcase data reflecting Q4 2023 updates.

Global Milestones from October-December 2023

  • The PrEP Tracker documented 6,220,507 cumulative initiations of some form of PrEP worldwide: 6,216,310 oral PrEP (including TDF/FTC, event-driven oral PrEP, and F/TAF), 2,695 injectable cabotegravir (injectable CAB), and 1,502 dapivirine vaginal ring (DVR).
  • Global PrEP uptake increased by about 500,000 PrEP initiations this quarter, modestly slower than in the last two quarters. Last year at this time, global PrEP initiations stood at 3.8 million, so this year’s increase demonstrates relatively high uptake compared to the previous year.

Country-level Milestones

  • South Africa surpassed 1.3 million oral PrEP initiations; Zimbabwe surpassed 250,000 initiations. In less than a year, Malawi more than doubled its oral PrEP initiations and now stands at over 100,000. Rwanda surpassed 30,000, Cote d’Ivoire surpassed 20,000, and Sierra Leone surpassed 10,000 initiations.
  • Other countries outside of Africa had modest increases in oral PrEP uptake: Brazil counted over 150,000 initiations; the Philippines surpassed 20,000 initiations.

PrEParing for New Products

Product Updates

  • In February, Zambia launched its injectable CAB program, making it the first country outside the US to include injectable CAB in its HIV prevention services. And the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation in South Africa also announced “the first jab” of injectable CAB administered in its FASTPrEP study. As these programs get underway, more country approvals and product launches are anticipated.
  • This quarter, Namibia approved the dapivirine vaginal ring (DVR), bringing the total to 11 approvals in the region.
  • Uruguay approved F/TAF (Descovy). Additionally, Descovy is under review in Mexico, Peru, Nigeria, Thailand, and Uganda approved injectable CAB.
  • Injectable CAB is under review in the United Kingdom, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Canada. CAB was granted WHO prequalification status, finding it to be safe, effective, and supported by studies.
  • PrEPWatch added 35 new country pages detailing the status of drug registration for PrEP products, data on PrEP initiation by product, country-level PEPFAR targets, and links to key policy documents and guidelines.
  • At ICASA, the Population Council presented preliminary results from a dual prevention pill (DPP) acceptability study with adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in Zimbabwe. The study found 2/3 of participants preferred a proxy for the DPP (which combines contraceptives and PrEP) compared to 1/3 who preferred taking oral PrEP and oral contraceptive pills separately. Results from another DPP acceptability study in South Africa are forthcoming and the HPTN 104 study is expected to kick off later this year, expanding the evidence on end-user experiences.
  • Alongside oral PrEP, introduction of the dapivirine vaginal ring (DVR) and injectable cabotegravir (CAB) will play a role in the scale of PrEP uptake. At least 1.2 million vials of CAB are now available for procurement and prevention programming in low-and middle-income countries over the next two years. At the same time, one million vaginal rings are projected to be distributed over the next two years. But even with these additional options, oral PrEP will continue to play a big role in PrEP uptake in the short term.
  • For a full global perspective on product introduction, check out the Integrated Study Tracker and Country Planning Matrix and see our graphic on the status of implementation scient studies on the next page.

The Latest R&D in the Prevention Pipeline

In 20 years of research and across 12 trials, only two positive signals have been observed in HIV vaccine and antibody studies.

  • In December 2023, the PrEPVacc team announced no efficacy from the vaccine candidates in the study. This was folowing a review by the independent data monitoring committee. PrEP interventions in the study, comparing TAF/FTC (Descovy) to TDF/FTC (Truvada) will continue. The termination of vaccine arms of the PrEPVacc study represents the most recent HIV vaccine or antibody trial to end without efficacy.
  • Ensuring equitable access to safe, effective, and affordable vaccines involves advocacy across multiple areas. AVAC covers the issues in a series of advocates’ guides, From the Lab to the Jab.

Prevention Playlist

AVAC develops a wide range of materials and resources to inform decision making and action. Check out the latest:

Join

CROI 2024 Community Breakfast Club Webinars

Read

Watch and Listen

Use

STI Diagnostic R&D Funding by Pathogen

This bar chart shows STI diagnostic research & development funding by pathogen.

Excerpted from STIs: A Review of the 2022 Vaccine and Diagnostic R&D Pipeline and Investments, the full report is available at stiwatch.org/resource-tracking.

STI Vaccine R&D Funding by Pathogen

This bar chart shows STI vaccine R&D funding by pathogen.

Excerpted from STIs: A Review of the 2022 Vaccine and Diagnostic R&D Pipeline and Investments, the full report is available at stiwatch.org/resource-tracking.

STI Vaccine and Diagnostic R&D Funding among US and International Organizations

This pie chart shows STI vaccine and diagnostic R&D funding among US and international organizations.

Excerpted from STIs: A Review of the 2022 Vaccine and Diagnostic R&D Pipeline and Investments, the full report is available at stiwatch.org/resource-tracking.

STI Research Funding Distribution by Country of Institution

This map shows the funding distribution of STI vaccine and diagnostic funding by country of institution.

Excerpted from STIs: A Review of the 2022 Vaccine and Diagnostic R&D Pipeline and Investments, the full report is available at stiwatch.org/resource-tracking.

STI Vaccine and Diagnostic R&D Funding by NIH IC and Topic

This chart shows STI vaccine and diagnostic R&D funding by NIH institutes and centers and by topic.

Excerpted from STIs: A Review of the 2022 Vaccine and Diagnostic R&D Pipeline and Investments, the full report is available at stiwatch.org/resource-tracking.