CROI 2014: PrEP, Use It or Lose It (Video)

Steven Wakefield of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network in Seattle, Wash., spoke with three advocates -- Rob Newells, Angel Hernandez and Julie Patterson -- from the AVAC PxROAR program about the relevance of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to communities of color. The panelists reported that much of the concern in their communities stemmed from the cost of tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada) and the fear of developing resistance to the drug should the person on PrEP seroconvert. Patterson also pointed out that the stigma of promiscuity and indulgence in risky sex are often attached to participation in PrEP trials.

Other issues discussed included concerns that young people may be involuntarily outed to their parents through the prescription for PrEP, about the need to educate medical providers outside the HIV/infectious disease specialties about PrEP, about the use of tenofovir/emtricitabine as a "party drug" versus the need for a certain amount of the medication to accumulate in the body before it becomes effective, and about the general distrust of the medical system in some communities of color, which complicates efforts to recruit trial participants.

Wakefield asked viewers to bring questions of HIV prevention in general, and PrEP in particular, to their communities in an effort to help stem the spread of HIV.

Watch the video to learn more:

About the panelists:

  • Rob Newells, Oakland, Calif., AVAC PxROAR program
  • Angel Hernandez, Puerto Rico, AVAC PxROAR program
  • Julie Patterson, Cleveland, Ohio, AVAC PxROAR program, Ohio chapter of the Positive Women's Network and Cleveland AIDS Clinical Trials Unit

The video above has been posted on with permission from our partners at the International Foundation for Alternative Research in AIDS (IFARA). Visit IFARA's website or YouTube channel to watch more video interviews from the conference, as well as earlier meetings.