Featured news from NHIVNA

HIV-related news from NAM

PrEP use in US exceeds 100,000 in Gilead pharmacy survey
Liz Highleyman, 2017-08-14 11:50:00

An estimated 120,000 people in the US have started Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) since 2012, according to the latest findings from a survey of retail and mail-order pharmacies by Gilead Sciences.

The new numbers, presented at the 9th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2017) last month in Paris, are thought to be an underestimate. But changes in the survey results over time give an indication of how rapidly PrEP use has grown, and show that its use is still lagging in some of the groups most at risk for HIV infection.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) for HIV prevention in July 2012. Adoption was initially slow, but by late 2013 it began to rise steeply as gay and bisexual men started promoting PrEP within their communities. However, it is difficult to estimate the total number of people who have used PrEP because this information is not centrally collected.

At a conference in 2013 Gilead researchers first presented findings from a survey of just over half of US retail pharmacies, showing that fewer than 1300 Truvada prescriptions for PrEP were written in 2012. An update presented the following year brought the total to about 3250. In October 2015, Robert Grant of the University of California at San Francisco reported that prescriptions had more than doubled, reaching close to 8500.

At last summer's International AIDS Conference, Scott McCallister from Gilead presented an update showing that more than 79,000 people had started Truvada for PrEP between early 2012 and the end of 2015. While the methodology of the survey and the proportion of pharmacies included have varied over time, so the year-to-year numbers are not strictly comparable, they do show a rapid rise in PrEP use.