October 25, 2014
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Human Rights Campaign endorses Truvada for PrEP treatment

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The Human Rights Campaign has endorsed the use of emtricitabine plus tenofovir disoproxil fumarate for pre-exposure prophylaxis, according to an HRC policy paper.

Emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada, Gilead Sciences) previously had been supported by the CDC and WHO, as well as AIDS United and the Gay Men’s Health Crisis Center. The HRC is the largest civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, the demographics most at risk for HIV infection. Currently, Truvada is the only brand name anti-HIV treatment approved for PrEP, according to a related press release.

PrEP is a dose of hope, taken once daily,” Chad Griffin, president of the HRC, said in the release. “Today, there is an unprecedented chance to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the US, in part through PrEP’s aggressive prevention of new HIV infections. There is no reason — medical or otherwise — to discourage individuals from taking control of their sexual health and talking to their doctor about PrEP.”

In the iPrEx phase 3 clinical trial, a regular regimen of Truvada reduced the risk for HIV infection in high-risk individuals by up to 92%. These results, along with data from the FDA and other researchers, led to the HRC’s decision to endorse Truvada, the policy paper said.

The HRC also urged insurers, regulators and Gilead Sciences to make the drug more widely available to high-risk individuals. This included calls for increased PrEP guidance and support, as well as reduced costs and copays to make therapy more available to low-income Americans.

“Affordable access to PrEP as a prevention option is essential if we are to beat this epidemic,” Griffin said. “We’ve got to work together if we’re going to seize this historic opportunity to change countless lives for the better.”