AHF: NIH Finally Waking up to Drawbacks of PrEP

CNBC article reports, “The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
announced last week that it was entering the first-ever global clinical
trial of an injectable HIV-prevention drug called cabotegravir.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases at the NIH, said: “The ultimate reason for the trial
is that many people who take Truvada have difficulty with having to take
a pill every single day … That really becomes prohibitive, and sometimes
people don’t adhere really well.”

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In response to recent news reports that the National Institutes of
Health (NIH)
is participating in the first-ever trials of an injectable,
longer-acting form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV
transmission—in these trials, utilizing ViiV
Healthcare’s
drug, cabotegravir—advocates from AHF expressed guarded
optimism at the potential for this new method of HIV prevention, which
does not rely on strict daily adherence to an oral pill regimen, such as
with current PrEP regimens using Truvada.

Instead, the new trials will examine whether one single injection or
shot of ViiV’s medication can provide a preventive benefit from HIV
acquisition for up to eight weeks versus a daily pill regimen of
Truvada. Part of the NIH’s reasoning for participating in the study of
this potentially longer-acting form of PrEP is a recognition of some
shortcomings of current PrEP regimen protocols—including heavy or
absolute reliance on patient adherence to the current daily medication
regimen requirements.

“At long last, the NIH is finally waking up to drawbacks of PrEP as we
know and currently deploy it,” said Michael Weinstein, president
of AIDS
Healthcare Foundation
.

In one news report on NIH’s participation in this latest HIV prevention
protocol study, CNBC
quoted Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases at the NIH (as told to NBC Out):

“The ultimate reason for the trial is that many people who take
Truvada have difficulty with having to take a pill every single day,”
Fauci said. “That really becomes prohibitive, and sometimes people don’t
adhere really well.”

“We have said since the beginning of this debate that an injectable or
timed-release form of a medication to prevent HIV acquisition would be a
superior option than relying so heavily on patient adherence to a daily
pill regimen,” added Weinstein. “Since the roll out of PrEP, there have
been isolated reports of HIV transmission—mainly due to interruption in
adherence to the medication—as well as skyrocketing rates of STDs,
particularly among young people, even though FDA guidelines for PrEP
include continued condom use. We look forward to monitoring the progress
of these latest NIH studies and reiterate our concerns questioning the
wisdom of widespread deployment of the current PrEP protocol as
pragmatic public health intervention.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
672,000 individuals in 38 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare

Contacts

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director,
Communications
+1.323.308.1833 work
+1.323.791.5526 mobile
gedk@aidshealth.org