- February 24, 2015
The HRC today hailed new results from two major studies showing that the use of Truvada for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is proving extraordinarily effective in reducing the risk of contracting HIV.
“These findings confirm the unprecedented promise of PrEP - the promise of a real chance to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic through aggressive prevention of new HIV infections,” said Jeff Krehely, Vice President and Chief Foundation Officer at HRC. “Hopefully, studies like these will continue to demonstrate that the medical community must embrace these life-changing regimens, and that affordable access to PrEP by those most vulnerable to HIV infection must be a priority.”
HRC has previously endorsed the use of Truvada for PrEP. The treatment, which does not provide protection against other sexually-transmitted diseases, is not right for everyone and medical decisions about PrEP should be made with a knowledgeable healthcare provider. Currently, Truvada is the only brand name anti-HIV drug combination approved for PrEP.
Findings from the two studies were released today at the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, the preeminent conference for HIV/AIDS research being held this week in Seattle. The PROUD study out of England assesses the effect the use of PrEP has on the frequency with which men have sex, how often they use condoms, and whether they contract other sexually-transmitted infections. The IPERGAY study out of France and Canada is investigating whether Truvada is still effective as a preventative when taken “on demand” - defined as two to 24 hours before sexual intercourse and again after - as opposed to daily.
Study advances reported today:
The two-year PROUD study in England, which involved gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, shows daily use of PrEP reduced the risk of HIV infection by 86 percent. PROUD researchers last month announced that, given the effectiveness of daily anti-HIV drug treatment, they saw no need to pursue plans to continue and expand the study.
The IPERGAY study, conducted at six sites in France and one in Canada, shows that “on-demand” use of PrEP also reduced risk of HIV transmission by 86 percent, and should be incorporated into prevention efforts that already include counseling and condoms.
Last year, both studies made headlines when independent data monitoring boards recommended that researchers stop giving some subjects placebos on ethical grounds after early data showed the overwhelming effectiveness of PrEP being used by other gay and bisexual men involved in the trials.
Given the continued promise of PrEP, HRC reiterates its calls to action issued last October: urging federal and state officials, as well as leading insurance companies, to accelerate action on making PrEP more available and affordable; and Gilead Sciences, the manufacturer of Truvada, to continue efforts to broaden the drug’s affordability and accessibility.
“There are more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, and approximately 50,000 new infections every year that disproportionately affect younger, Black and Latino gay and bisexual men, and transgender women,” Krehely said. “PrEP is a critically important prevention tool that gives us an opportunity to arrest this epidemic worldwide and save countless lives.”
More information on HIV prevention, treatment, and care can be found here. Go here to find out about HRC’s #DailyBlue campaign, a new social and digital media campaign to raise awareness about PrEP, and encourage people to share their PrEP stories with friends, family and loved ones.
Click here to read the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Statement on the PrEP studies released yesterday.