LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Citing poor drug adherence by individuals enrolled in eight major clinical research trials on the use of Gilead’s AIDS treatment, Truvada, for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a possible method of HIV prevention, advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) have launched a new national ‘PrEP Facts’ ad campaign cautioning individuals, community organizations and government bodies against the widespread scale up of PrEP for HIV prevention.
AHF’s ‘PrEP Facts’ ad campaign educating the public about adherence issues and PrEP initially started running this week in a few newspapers, magazines and online outlets in California and will continue and expand to six outlets in California and five news outlets in South Florida over the next week. AHF’s campaign also comes on the heels of recent—and what AHF believes are misguided—recommendations by both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) for the widespread scale up and implementation of the problematic HIV prevention strategy.
“The eight major studies show the scientific data do not support the large-scale use of Truvada as a community-wide public health intervention to prevent transmission of HIV,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Medication adherence is the primary problem: Even in carefully monitored clinical trials, in which people were counseled monthly, had blood samples drawn and were even paid to participate, many study participants simply did NOT take Truvada every day as prescribed. As such, we want the public to know that the government-sanctioned widespread scale up of PrEP appears to be a public health disaster in the making.”
Poor drug adherence was found almost across the board in the eight major clinical research trials of Truvada as PrEP. The Partners PrEP Study (97-98% adherence, which resulted in a 73% efficacy); TDF2 Study (Study stopped early due to loss to follow-up. 63% efficacy--adherence not available); the iPrex OLE [Open Label Extension] Study (Preliminary results from the iPrEx OLE study released at the 20th International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Australia in July showed an initial overall efficacy of 49%); the Bangkok Study (84% adherence, which resulted in a 49% efficacy); the initial iPrex Study (Overall PrEP efficacy: 44%); the CAPRISA Gel Study (Vaginal tenofovir gel had 39% efficacy—adherence not available. Gel was used before and after sex.); the VOICE Gel Study (Study stopped early due to lack of vaginal tenofovir efficacy. Gel was used daily.); and the FEM-PrEP Study (Study stopped early due to low adherence and equal rates of infection in both study arms.).
AHF’s ‘PrEP Facts’ ad campaign is running/or will soon run in the following publications: CALIFORNIA: Frontiers (8/27/14), Long Beach Press Telegram (8/17/14), LA Weekly (8/21/14), Los Angeles Daily News (8/17/14), Oakland Post (8/20/14), Beverly Press (8/27/14) and in SOUTH FLORIDA: SFGN (South Florida Gay News—8/27/14), Miami New Times/Broward New Times (8/26/14), HotSpots (8/27/14), Westside Gazette (8/28/14), Florida Agenda (8/28/14).
The ‘PrEP Facts’ campaign will likely expand to other markets as AHF continues to ramp up its public awareness and advocacy campaign cautioning against the widespread scale up of PrEP for possible HIV prevention. The ads also serve to educate the public as to the critical, but complicated role adherence to the controversial HIV prevention protocol plays the overall success of PrEP when deployed more widely among the general public.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to nearly 322,000 individuals in 34 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.