South Africa approves PrEP

Timothy Kincaid

December 9th, 2015

South Africa has joined the United States and France in approving the use of Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the prevention of the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). (The Citizen)

Medicines Control Council (MCC) held their 75th meeting from November 27-28, where Truvada, the HIV prevention drug, was approved.

MCC approved the use of the fixed-dose combination of tenofovir disoproxyl fumarate and emtricitabine to include pre-exposure prophylaxis of HIV (commonly referred to as PrEP).

As South Africa’s public healthcare system is woefully understaffed and underfunded, it is not clear how well this step will be implemented in that nation’s most vulnerable population. However the wealthiest 20% of South Africans use private healthcare so there is some hope that the availability of PrEP could reach at least that portion of the population.


December 10th, 2015

I think it’s important to note that, unlike France and the US, the South African approval is for daily oral tenofovir and emtricitabine, not for brand name Truvada specifically (although much of the news coverage is using the brand name in a generified way). Generic equivalents are widely used for HIV treatment in many countries, including South Africa, and the (significantly) lower costs of generics are a big part of what will make roll out of PrEP in South Africa feasible.

Timothy Kincaid

December 10th, 2015

Thanks, werdna.

Eric Payne

December 10th, 2015

How wonderful.

With South Africa getting PrEP (or some equivalent thereof), it’s only a matter of time until its usage spreads within Africa…

Remind me again… from where did HIV originate? If I could only remember what part of the world saw the first outbreaks of HIV-related AIDS? It’s right on the periphery of my memory, but it was sooo long ago…

Timothy Kincaid

December 11th, 2015

Currently about 25 million people in sub-saharan Africa live with HIV with 1.5 million new infections each year. There are over a million AIDS related deaths each year.

Currently about 40% of those living with HIV are on ART.

Any spread of PrEP across sub-saharan Africa would be a WONDERFUL thing. It would reduce infection rate and save lives.

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