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PrEP Is Linked To Lower Declining HIV Cases In The United States

Research Shows PrEP Is Linked To Lower New HIV Cases

Data shown at #AIDS2018 shows that the growing practice of PrEP has made a difference in the fight against HIV. 

New data presented at AIDS 2018 showed that as the practice of PrEP has risen in the population, new HIV cases have dropped simultaneously. 

PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a strategy that when taken daily by HIV-negative people makes it impossible for them to be exposed to the virus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Truvada as PrEP in July 2012. Since then, Gilead researchers say, an estimated 120,000 people had started taking Truvada. 

According to data collected by Gilead and researchers at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, over 77,000 people were taking PrEP in 2016 alone. That same year, new HIV diagnoses dropped to their lowest level in history. 

Furthermore, according to NAM Aids Map, there was also a dramatic decline in new cases among gay men attending sexual health clinics in London. A large decrease among men who have sex with men in Sydney have also been attributed to a combination of approaches including stepped up testing, treatment and PrEP.

"PrEP uptake was significantly associated with declines in HIV diagnoses in the USA, and this association is independent of levels of viral suppression," the researchers concluded at AIDS 2018. They recommended that "US states should take steps to increase the use of PrEP among persons with indications and should continue efforts to increase HIV viral suppression for people living with HIV."

Patrick Sullivan from Emory University added, "By documenting significant declines in average new cases of HIV in states where Truvada for PrEP has been most widely adopted, our analysis emphasizes the importance of improving access to HIV screening and a full range of prevention tools, including PrEP, in U.S. states,"

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