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No New HIV Infections in Northern California Kaiser PrEP Program, but STI Rates Rising

No new HIV infections have been seen among nearly 1000 people who started Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, according to a report in the December 15, 2016, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. The most recent analysis shows, however, that incidence of chlamydia and gonorrhea is high, suggesting that sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing may be needed quarterly rather than every 6 months.

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U.K.'s Largest Sexual Health Clinic Saw 40% Drop in New HIV Diagnoses in 2016

The clinic at 56 Dean Street in Soho, central London, the largest sexual health clinic in the U.K., saw an unprecedented 40% drop in new HIV diagnoses this year. Another clinic, the Mortimer Market Centre a mile away from Dean Street, has seen an even bigger 50% fall.

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1. HIV Undetectable = Uninfectious

Evidence continues to accumulate showing that HIV-positive people on effective combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) with a consistently undetectable viral load have a very low -- perhaps as low as zero -- risk of transmitting the virus.

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First Large Study of Long-Acting Injectable for HIV Prevention Now Underway

The National Institutes of Health and industry collaborators last week launched a large-scale clinical trial to test long-acting injectable cabotegravir for HIV prevention. Study HPTN 083 will compare cabotegravir injections administered every 8 weeks versus once-daily oral tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada) pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Results are expected in 2021.

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4. PrEP Use Widens, But Disparities Remain

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was again a major HIV story in 2016. The latest figures from a pharmacy survey by Gilead Sciences showed that more than 79,000 people in the U.S. have started Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) for HIV prevention, but the survey does not include all PrEP providers and most experts think this estimate is low.

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