According to findings of a major HIV prevention trial presented Monday, March 4, 2013 at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), study participants who received daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) did not experience any protection against HIV compared to those in the placebo arm, likely because very few were taking the study drugs as directed.
The trial, known as the Vaginal and Oral Interventions to Control the Epidemic (VOICE) study, was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of three HIV prevention strategies compared to placebo. It was sponsored and largely funded by National Institutes of Health-funded Microbicide Trials Network , a worldwide collaborative clinical trials network focused on preventing the sexual transmission of HIV.
The NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases issued this statement about the study findings, noting that the results were likely due to very low levels of product use, particularly among young, single women.
A statement about the study results from Dr. Jonathan Mermin, Director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, stresses that consistent use is imperative when using pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection. Read the CDC statement.
Finally, the NIH-supported Microbicide Trials Network also issued a statement discussing the study findings.