Tuesday, May 15, 2012

GMHC Commends FDA's Recommendation on HIV Drug to Prevent New Infections

courtesy of HIVplusmag.com
Thirty years ago, Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) formed to pro-actively and aggressively fight a virus that was ravaging large metropolitan cities of America.  As a global leader in developing and supporting best practices to combat HIV, GMHC staunchly supports the expansion of all available tools to combat HIV.  On Thursday, May 10, at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Antiviral Drug Advisory Committee convened a meeting to discuss expanding the usage of an effective HIV anti-retroviral therapy (ART), Truvada.  Clinical research has been conducted since 2007 to explore if the medication could be used not only to hinder HIV replication for HIV-positive individuals, but potentially to stop HIV acquisition altogether for HIV-negative persons as a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).

"This new drug indication is the baseline, or building block, for a new type of biomedical HIV prevention," said Marjorie Hill, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of GMHC.  "PrEP drug development can be added to the vast array of HIV prevention tools including condoms, HIV testing and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).  Truvada as PrEP will clearly be one of the first iterations for Treatment as Prevention (TasP).  While we do not have all the necessary information about how the public will respond and potentially utilize this medication for prevention; our constituents, clients, family and loved ones deserve complete support to advance HIV prevention."

PrEP, as it stands now, is not the last car on the train.  It is just the beginning.  And GMHC fully supports the FDA in clearing the way for this new indication of ART.  This drug utilization is a step forward in the development of an array of tools that each person who perceives themselves at-risk for contracting HIV may utilize in their cadre to protect his or her health.  HIV is a virus that when left untreated will ultimately kill each person it infects.  Thus, GMHC adamantly supports the development of any modality that will treat the infected person and also any modality that will hinder HIV-acquisition for an uninfected person.  Each available tool helps stop HIV in its tracks.  And Together We Can make this an "AIDS-Free Generation" as President Obama declared.

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