Next generation HIV prevention drug gets FDA approval – Estcourt and Midland News


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel voted in favour of Descovy as a pre-exposure prophylaxis medication, or PrEP, in August this year. This is part of ongoing efforts to end the HIV epidemic. U.S President Trump announced an initiative, Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, in his State of the Union address on 5 February 2019.

Descovy is currently approved for HIV PrEP in everyone except people who have vaginal sex. It has not yet been studied in this population and those patients may use Truvada as an approved option.

Daniel O’Day, Gilead’s CEO, said in a statement: “Descovy for PrEP provides a new HIV prevention option that matches Truvada’s high efficacy with statistically significant improvements in renal and bone safety, which can be an important consideration as people at risk increasingly use PrEP for longer periods of time.”

Just like its predecessor Truvada, Descovy is taken once daily and can reduce the transmission of HIV by over 95%. Gilead announced that this generic version will hit the market in September 2020 and the company has promised to donate 2.4 million bottles worldwide.

There are currently 23 000 to 24 000 PrEP users in South Africa so a new drug that could be cheaper and more effective is a step forward in HIV prevention.

PrEP should be considered for people who are HIV-negative and at significant risk of acquiring HIV infection. PrEP may be suitable for:

Any sexually active HIV-negative MSM or transgender person or heterosexual women and men who want PrEP, targeting especially

Those with HIV-positive sexual partner(s) who are not confirmed virologically suppressed
Partner(s) of unknown HIV status
Recent STI
Multiple sexual partners
History of inconsistent or no condom use
Commercial sex work
Recurrent PEP users
History of sex whilst under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs
Serodiscordant couples trying to conceive
Recurrent PEP users
History of sex whilst under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs
All of the above groups include adolescents and sex workers, which each constitute special groups meriting specific consideration

HIV-negative PWID with HIV-positive/unknown status injecting partner(s)
Share injecting needles and drug preparation equipment

Especially vulnerable are young MSM and adolescent girls

PrEP is available at most government clinics and hospitals. You may also ask your doctor for information on PrEP.

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Source:: Daily times


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