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Statement by Dr. Stefano Bertozzi, director of HIV and Tuberculosis, Global Health Program | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Landmark Study Finds Antiretroviral Drugs Highly Effective at Preventing HIV in Both Men and Women

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
206-709-3400
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Phone: +1.206.709.3400
Email: media@gatesfoundation.org

SEATTLE -- Dr. Stefano Bertozzi, director of HIV and Tuberculosis at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, issued the following statement on the HIV prevention study results released today by the University of Washington.

“University of Washington’s PARTNERS PrEP Study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, marks a significant milestone in the quest to develop new HIV prevention measures. The results clearly indicate that oral PrEP can safely and effectively reduce HIV infection risk among heterosexual men and women.

Together with other recent successful antiretroviral-based prevention studies, including CAPRISA 004, iPrEX, HPTN 052 and the Center for Disease Control’s announcement today that its oral PrEP trial also saw significant reductions in infections among HIV negative heterosexual couples, the findings show the broader potential for ARV-based prevention tools to save millions of lives. Based on these results, the foundation will aim to facilitate country introduction of both oral and topical tenofovir-based interventions as appropriate.

The fight against AIDS is a top priority for the foundation. We are committed to pursuing research activities to develop tools to prevent new HIV infections and increase the life expectancy of those living with HIV.

However, many logistical, financial and behavioral challenges still need to be explored. To significantly curtail new HIV infections and help reverse the course of the global AIDS epidemic, the community needs to build on this research by exploring cost-effective delivery approaches, and by ensuring financing for these promising interventions so that they reach those who need them urgently.

We believe that a combination of prevention approaches, including well proven interventions such as male circumcision, prevention of mother-to-child transmission and the continued use of condoms, will be needed to bring the epidemic under control. And we hope one day to add a vaccine to the full package of prevention options.

We congratulate the University of Washington International Clinical Research Center and its partners in Uganda and Kenya for their commitment to HIV prevention research. The study’s researchers, staff, and the more than 4,700 volunteer couples deserve recognition for their dedication to developing new tools combat HIV. Their leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS is invaluable.”

For more information on the PARTNERS PrEP Study and its findings, visit the University of Washington's web site.
For more info on CAPRISA 004, iPrEX and HPTN 052, visit www.avac.org.

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