Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) involves putting HIV negative people on antiretroviral drugs (ARV) with the aim of protecting them from HIV infection. This blog looks at some of the pros and cons of PrEP.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Another PrEP Trial Casts Doubt on Strategy's Effectiveness

A trial of Truvada as PrEP in Botswana, the TDF2 trial) has changed its course after it became clear that it would not be able to demonstrate effectiveness in reducing HIV infection. No doubt the reasons given for changing course are valid enough; low and declining HIV prevalence in the trial population, high dropout rate, pregnancies and lack of commitment to time requirements.

It's probably unsurprising that the world's media are not clamoring to cover yet another PrEP non-event, though this contrasts sharply with coverage of their one 'success'. However, the thirtieth anniversary of the 'first' AIDS case will be marked on June the 5th. Only good news will be sought when it comes to marvelling at how things have changed over the last 30 years.

For those who think that the whole AIDS industry has been hijacked by big business, especially Big Pharma, it's interesting to note an article from the 20th anniversary, June 2001:

"It's not the drug cocktails that are going to enable us to overcome this major, major social problem," says Dr. Fred Sai, Ghana's top AIDS expert. "It can only be done by education, preventive health measures and creating better living standards. I am afraid that the big U.N. conference on AIDS in June is going to get hijacked by this clamor for drugs, drugs, drugs, when the answer is prevention and building better societies."

In a sense, we have a come a long way, a long way towards getting more people on drugs and inflating the profits of Big Pharma. As for wiping out HIV, some may question our progress.


No comments:

Post a Comment