July 16, 2012

New York, July 16, 2012—The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its decision to approve the combination anti-retroviral (ARV) drug Truvada for the prevention of HIV. More than 7,400 individuals worldwide are newly infected with HIV every day, and several studies have shown that ARV-based pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection in some populations. Truvada is an important tool that should be used along with other prevention modalities to stem the tide of new HIV infections while the field continues to develop additional new prevention technologies, including an HIV vaccine.  The complex realities of people’s lives call for access to a full spectrum of HIV-prevention options to address diverse needs and circumstances. The FDA’s landmark decision adds another strategy to the existing HIV-prevention toolkit; now communities and researchers must work together to determine how this method can be used most effectively. The addition of PrEP to the available complement of HIV prevention options brings us one step closer to mounting a truly comprehensive response to the AIDS pandemic, and this decision represents a victory for the entire HIV prevention field.

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Ethel Makila
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Rose Catlos
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RCatlos@iavi.org