Leading AIDS Advocates Support FDA Approval of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a Promising New HIV Prevention Method, for Men and Women

Published: May 1, 2012

NEW YORK, May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Written Comments to FDA Advisory Committee Cite Compelling Evidence for PrEP and Urgent Need for Every Available Tool to End AIDS

In public comments submitted this week, a group of 14 leading HIV/AIDS and health organizations stated their support for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of emtricitabine/ tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF/FTC or Truvada®) as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection in adult men and women. Their comments, submitted in advance of a May 10 FDA Advisory Committee meeting, pointed to compelling evidence on the efficacy of TDF/FTC as PrEP and highlighted the unique potential of this intervention to help slow the HIV epidemic in the U.S.

With PrEP, HIV-negative individuals who are at risk for HIV take anti-HIV medications in order to reduce their chances of becoming infected if exposed to the virus. At the May 10 hearing, the FDA will consider data from clinical trials showing that TDF/FTC reduced the risk of sexual transmission of HIV in populations including men who have sex with men (MSM) and heterosexual women and men.

"The U.S. and international AIDS community overwhelmingly supports FDA’s priority review of this potentially game-changing new tool to prevent HIV," said Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC. "The evidence is increasingly clear that daily PrEP can help reduce HIV risk in women and men who take it consistently as prescribed. While no single tool will be enough to stop the spread of HIV, PrEP could be a vital part of a comprehensive, global strategy to end the AIDS epidemic."

Despite some progress in reducing HIV incidence using other available methods, approximately 50,000 people become newly infected with HIV every year in the United States, and 2.6 million people were newly infected with HIV worldwide in 2010. Globally, half of all people infected with HIV are women and girls. In the United States, HIV infection continues to take a disproportionate toll on African Americans and Latinos; MSM, including transgender individuals; and the poor. Driving down HIV infection rates is a primary objective of the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and is at the core of global efforts to end the AIDS epidemic.

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