aidsmap news: Most switches to Descovy PrEP are probably unnecessary and some may be harmful, 5 October 2021

News from aidsmap

Bowonpat Sakaew/
Bowonpat Sakaew/

Most switches to Descovy PrEP are probably unnecessary and some may be harmful

One in eight PrEP users in Boston switched from the better-established formulation Truvada to the newer Descovy, but only 7% of those switching had a clinical indication for doing so. Moreover, 14% made potentially harmful switches, as Descovy may have a negative effect on body weight and cholesterol.

Two thirds of HIV controllers in French cohort haven’t needed HIV treatment yet

The majority of people with HIV who control the virus without treatment appear likely to maintain that state for many years, follow-up of a French cohort of ‘HIV controllers’ shows. The study of 302 people found that only 30% needed to start antiretroviral treatment during a median follow-up period of five and a half years.

Equity in HIV funding: the right thing to do, cheaper, and more effective

A cost-effectiveness analysis in six US cities has shown that overall, using an equity approach to scale up HIV prevention and care services, based on the racial and ethnic distribution of new HIV diagnoses, was more effective and efficient than scaling them up in proportion to existing service levels.

As HIV incidence declines in South Africa, new infections are concentrating in those over 25

The scale-up of HIV treatment, youth-focused prevention interventions and voluntary male circumcision has changed the age distribution of HIV incidence in South Africa according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Successful PrEP interventions in marginalised communities: the Ashodaya PrEP Project

Community mobilisation and ownership were central to the success of a PrEP demonstration project conducted with female sex workers in Mysore, India, a recent qualitative study has found.

Tell Me About It: busting myths and celebrating progress

tell me about it

Tell Me About It is a six-part podcast series of honest conversations, sharing accurate and trustworthy information about HIV and sexual and reproductive health in a friendly and open way.

Each episode is a conversation between people sharing their experiences of HIV. Guests include actor Jonathan Blake, BBC Radio London's Jo Good, The Sex Clinic's Dr Naomi Sutton, Dr Halima Begum from the Runnymede Trust, and NAM's Matthew Hodson and Susan Cole.

Editors' picks from other sources

Ending PrEP stigma: researcher calls for integrating HIV services into primary health care | TheBodyPro

According to Sarit Golub, Ph.D., M.P.H., the practice of labelling and separating HIV-related services from other health care reinforces stigma.

People living with HIV experience a diminished immune response to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines | Contagion Live

Major predictors of response were CD4+ count, suppressed viral load, and whether the participant received the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccine.

John Nkengasong tipped to lead PEPFAR | The Lancet (free registration required)

John Nkengasong, head of Africa CDC, is to be nominated to head PEPFAR, the US Government's global HIV/AIDS response programme.

It takes more than a village | HIV Justice Network

How local advocates worked with our global network to support a Malawian woman living with HIV prosecuted for breastfeeding – and what happened after she was released from prison.

PrEP for women in Europe webinar part 2

PrEP webinar

In July, PrEP in Europe held the second part of its webinar on PrEP for women in Europe.

The webinar included presentations by: Kim Leverett, nurse practitioner at Barts Health NHS Trust in east London, which recruited the largest group of women to England’s IMPACT PrEP rollout trial; Sophie Strachan, a UK sexual health advisor who is also co-ordinator of the Sophia Forum, an advocacy and rights group for women affected by HIV; and Dr Olga Denisiuk, who is head of the Programme Optimisation and Research Team of the Alliance for Public Health, Ukraine and is involved in the PrEP demonstration projects there.