New study on PrEP offers hope but a rights-based approach must be central
February 26, 2015 - The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) welcomes the results of a new British randomized controlled trial, released on Tuesday 24 February at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle. The findings showed 86 percent protection for gay men using the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drug, Truvada.
The development and availability of a new prevention tool (in addition to condoms) is very good news for sero-discordant couples, also reflected in the positive results of a study released during CROI, The Partners PrEP Demonstration Project, as it supports the rights of people living with HIV and their sexual partner(s) of negative status to enjoy healthy, satisfying sex lives.
However, whilst the results offer new options for prevention of HIV, GNP+ is mindful of the fact that freedom of choice and respect for the rights of individuals must remain at the heart of all decisions around prevention and treatment of HIV.
“We should remember that public health benefits must never circumvent respect for individual autonomy in making decisions about personal health,” said Suzette Moses-Burton, the Executive Director of GNP+.
“Furthermore, we still face an enormous challenge to reach the goal of providing anti-retroviral medicine for all people living with HIV around the world. Investing in a biomedical approach for HIV prevention such as PrEP should not come at the expense of investment in HIV treatment,” she continued.
GNP+ reminds policy makers that PrEP's efficacy, having been demonstrated on a small scale under ‘real world' conditions, may provide a new tool in achieving the goal of zero new infections, but that it is important that any roll out must be implemented under the framework of Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention. Developed by GNP+ in conjunction with UNAIDS, this approach integrates biomedical tools into a holistic and rights-based approach which places people living with HIV at the centre of policy and service delivery, taking into account their lived environment.
For PrEP to be effective, users must adhere to treatment. Experiences of people living with HIV show that adherence can be challenging for many reasons, so adherence support is critical. It is very important that PrEP is also implemented under a comprehensive package of care, which includes not just pills, but also regular monitoring, psychosocial support and access to a range of options.
“In order to be effective, PrEP must be considered as an aspect of the continuum of care, which includes a range of services, including antiretroviral treatment, diagnostics, and treatment of opportunistic infections and co-infections. Policy makers must remember that this new tool is no magic bullet and should not implement it as such,” said Suzette Moses-Burton.
Related: Partners Demonstration Project
For more information, please contact:
GNP+: Victoria Clarke, External Relations & Communications Officer
Office: +31 (0)21 Skype: vclarkegnpplus
The Gl obal Network of People Living With HIV (GNP+) is the global network for and by people living with HIV. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV. The vision is a powerful and united worldwide social movement of people living with HIV, with their leadership and voices at the centre of the HIV response. GNP+'s objective is equitable access to health and social services for people living with HIV by focusing on social justice, rights and involvement. This will be achieved through GNP's purpose, which is to promote the greater and more meaningful involvement of people living with HIV in programme and policy development (the GIPA principle). For more information, please visit www.gnpplus.net. You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
"Reproduced with permission - Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+)"
Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+)
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