Highly effective HIV prevention option not reaching those who need it

02 November 2020

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an HIV prevention option whereby someone who is HIV-negative takes antiretroviral medicines prior to possible exposure to HIV, has been shown to be highly efficacious across all populations. The offer of PrEP as part of a combination approach to HIV prevention has been recommended by the World Health Organization for all people at substantial risk of HIV since 2015.

The number of people reported to have received PrEP at least once in the previous year has increased dramatically in recent years, from fewer than 2000 in 2016 to more than 590 000 in 2019. In several cities in North America, Europe and Australia where PrEP is widely available, this relatively new prevention tool has contributed to steep reductions in HIV infections among gay men and other men who have sex with men. Global coverage, however, is still far short of the 2020 target of 3 million people receiving PrEP.

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