5 Facts You Should Know About HIV PrEP

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PrEP could work for women too, but there's a gap in HIV rates among this demographic, especially Black women. Outside of PrEP's proven effectiveness, the below facts suggest the need for better promotion and more options.

  1. Event-driven PrEP for Women: Evidence suggests that event-driven pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) could be as effective for women as it is for men. With non-daily but high adherence, taking four to six pills a week could be as effective at preventing HIV infection as daily dosing, according to a recent study published in JAMA.
  2. Disparity in HIV Rates: In the U.S., cisgender women accounted for nearly 20% of new HIV cases in 2019, with Black women representing over half of those cases, highlighting a significant disparity in HIV infection rates (CDC).
© nito - stock.adobe.com

© nito - stock.adobe.com

  1. High Effectiveness of PrEP: When taken consistently as prescribed, PrEP can reduce the risk of contracting HIV by up to 99% among individuals at high risk, such as those with HIV-positive partners or engaging in high-risk behaviors, according to clinical trials: iPrEx trial (Grant et al., 2010) and the Partners PrEP trial (Baeten et al., 2012).
  2. Underrepresentation of Black Women in PrEP Promotion: Outside of its high effectiveness, PrEP uptake among Black women remains low, partly due to historical underrepresentation in PrEP promotion campaigns, which have predominantly featured male couples.
  3. Expansion of PrEP Options: Efforts to expand PrEP options include developing long-acting injectables and on-demand dosing strategies, aiming to make it easier for folks to stay protected, according to clinical trials: "Long-acting injectable cabotegravir dosing strategies in clinical trials: A review" (ViiV Healthcare, 2021) and "On-demand pre-exposure prophylaxis with oral TDF-FTC in men who have sex with men: A systematic review and meta-analysis" (Cambiano et al., 2019).
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