While work on an HIV vaccine continues to ramp up, the biggest HIV prevention story of the year involves a more prosaic intervention method: the very antiretrovirals we already know and love as a critical form of treatment.
This year brought the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's seal of approval on the use of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) -- specifically, the use of tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada) by HIV-uninfected people to reduce their risk of contracting the virus.
As the health care community commences its rollout of PrEP, there are a huge number of issues to address. One of the most critical elements to the success of PrEP will be adequate adherence to the regimen -- an element that appeared to be distinctly missing from the FEM-PrEP study, as was discussed at CROI 2012 earlier this year.
Additional research presented at CROI testifies to just how effective PrEP can be when it's done right. The lingering question (and challenge), as we begin the PrEP era in earnest, is: Will we, and our patients, do it right? Proper funding, organization, preparation and education will be key to ensuring the answer is "yes."