Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Truvada: one part of a combination prevention approach

18
JUL
2012

ARVs © Natalia Kravchuk for the Alliance

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance welcomes the decision by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the daily use of the antiretroviral drug, Truvada, for people at high risk of HIV, if it is used as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy.

Such a strategy needs to include other prevention methods, such as safer sex practices (male and female condoms and lubricants), risk reduction counselling, regular HIV testing, harm reduction services, psychosocial support, community mobilisation, and structural interventions to create an enabling environment for HIV prevention.

Many questions still remain in relation to the use of Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis of HIV or PrEP,  but the Alliance is generally optimistic that it will strengthen the available combination prevention responses, and will empower people to make decisions that affect their risk of acquiring HIV.

“The options to protect ourselves from HIV are expanding," said Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of the Alliance.  “This is critical, as greater choice may also lead to increased prevention uptake and consequently to a reduction of new HIV infections. And now for the first time ever, people at risk of HIV can choose to take antiretroviral medication to protect themselves from and remain free of HIV.”

However in most developing countries access to prevention, treatment and care for populations at higher risk of HIV continues to be extremely limited. The Alliance believes that the environment in these countries is currently not conducive to the introduction of PrEP. To be effective, structural changes would be necessary, so that PrEP could become an integral component of a national combination prevention approach that is community-driven and rights-based.

The Alliance will continue to support communities to prepare for new prevention technologies (NPTs) such as PrEP, and to become engaged as equal partners in the decision-making processes.

Read more about the Alliances approach to HIV prevention.