Mapping Pathways is a multi-national project to develop and nurture a research-driven, community-led global understanding of the emerging evidence base around the adoption of antiretroviral-based prevention strategies to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The evidence base is more than results from clinical trials - it must include stakeholder and community perspectives as well.

20 July 2012

WHO issues first guidance on use of antiretrovirals by HIV-negative people at high risk to prevent infection

World Health Organization20 JULY 2012 | GENEVA / WASHINGTON DC - WHO has issued its first guidance to countries that are considering offering HIV medications, known as antiretrovirals (ARVs), to protect people who do not have the virus but who are at high risk of HIV infection.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP):

The guidance is based on clinical trials indicating that a daily dose of oral antiretroviral medication, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), taken by HIV-negative people to reduce the risk of infection, is both safe for people to use and effective in preventing HIV. The iPrEX study shows that use of PrEP can reduce HIV infection by around 40% among men who have sex with men – and up to 73% among those who took the medicine regularly. The Partners PrEP study found 75% protection among serodiscordant couples (couples in which one person is HIV positive) in Kenya and Uganda.

The range of results in these studies highlight the potential benefits of PrEP, but also the importance of combining it with consistent use of condoms, as well as frequent HIV testing, counselling, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

They also emphasize the importance of taking medicines every day. Many people who are at high risk for HIV may not easily be able to incorporate the diligent treatment regimen required, so the next challenge is to ascertain how best to deliver PrEP to those who would benefit from it in ‘real life’ settings in order to achieve the necessary adherence and maximum public health gains.

PrEP projects in countries:

To better understand how PrEP can best contribute to a combination HIV prevention programme, WHO is encouraging countries wishing to introduce PrEP to first establish small projects to help public health workers to better understand and realize its potential benefits. In these projects, ARVs would be given to people at high risk of HIV infection. These could include uninfected men or transgender women who have sex with men who have a high risk of being HIV-positive. The aim is to identify which groups will benefit most from PrEP, and ascertain the best ways to deliver the services to them.

WHO will evaluate the outcome of these projects, together with the evolving scientific evidence. The results will help determine the best way to integrate PrEP guidance in future consolidated WHO guidelines on the use of antiretrovirals for preventing and treating HIV infection, which are expected in the summer of 2013.

Read the rest.

[Content that is linked from other sources is for informational purposes and should not construe a Mapping Pathways position. Please look for us on Facebook here and you can follow us on Twitter @mappingpathways as well.]

No comments:

Post a Comment