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PrEP use exceeds 79,000 in US pharmacy survey, but some groups lagging behind
Liz Highleyman, 2016-07-19 16:40:00
More than 79,000 people in the US have started Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis
(PrEP) over the past four years, according to the latest results from a survey
of retail pharmacies by Gilead Sciences, presented today at the 21st International AIDS Conference
(AIDS 2016) in Durban. Yet while large gains in
PrEP use have been seen among men in cities with large gay communities, some
groups are not benefitting as much as they could.
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 began promoting PrEP within
their communities. Yet it has been 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 pharmacies showing that fewer than 1300 Truvada prescriptions for PrEP were
written in 2012, with about half of recipients being
women. An update presented the following year brought the total to approximately 3250,
and at a meeting in October 2015 PrEP researcher Robert Grant said the latest survey numbers showed that PrEP
prescriptions had more than doubled, to around 8,500, even as the proportion of
responding pharmacies had fallen.