The concept of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a new HIV prevention method and is based on using antiretroviral treatments, used until now to treat infected people, to reduce the risk of HIV infection among non-infected people when they engage in sexual intercourse.
The French National AIDS Council (CNS) was asked by the Director General of Health to assess the benefits of promoting this new prevention strategy. The Council set out to produce a precise inventory of knowledge and debate raised by PrEP, explore the various issues and repercussions on HIV/AIDS prevention measures and formulate preliminary guidelines providing a framework for using PrEP in France.
PrEP is not a universal prevention method aimed at the general population. Its prevention benefits apply to those most at risk of contracting HIV. PrEP must be part of a comprehensive approach combining promotion of different prevention methods, screening and different use of therapies. It widens the range of available methods and highlights the need to promote combined prevention in order to offer a tailored response to individual situations and needs.
The CNS wishes to publish this opinion today, at a time when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), following recommendations made by a committee of experts and made public on 10th May 2012, is about to approve a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for an antiretroviral treatment to be used for PrEP (Truvada® made by Gilead Sciences).
The CNS study has clarified the advantages of PrEP, potential target groups and the challenges that the prevention system must meet in order to optimally roll out PrEP in the French context.
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