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Contact: Natalie Shure,

New York City, June 20, 2024 – Treatment Action Group (TAG) welcomes the news that the long-acting injectable HIV capsid inhibitor lenacapavir has proven efficacious at preventing HIV acquisition among young women and adolescent girls in South Africa and Uganda. A press release from manufacturer Gilead Sciences reports that there were no cases of HIV among 2,134 participants in the lenacapavir arm of the trial (PURPOSE 1), demonstrating superiority to Truvada and Descovy and representing a significant difference with the background HIV incidence in the population.

Lenacapavir’s dosing schedule of once every six months potentially offers an important new option for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). But this potential can only be realized if the obstacles to access are rapidly overcome, chief among them the high cost of the drug. The People’s Medicine’s Alliance recently wrote to Gilead with the support of over 300 signatories to demand that the company urgently license lenacapavir for cheap generic production via the Medicines Patent Pool, and TAG strongly echoes these calls.

In addition to cost, multiple other hurdles must rapidly be addressed including regulatory submissions in all locations where lenacapavir may be needed and requisite updates to World Health Organization (WHO) HIV prevention guidelines.

Richard Jefferys, TAG’s Basic Science, Vaccines and Cure Project Director, commented: “The benefits of available PrEP options are yet to be equitably realized for all populations vulnerable to HIV, and the cycle of new options like lenacapavir exacerbating existing disparities — rather than addressing them — must be broken.”

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About TAG: Treatment Action Group (TAG) is an independent, activist and community-based research and policy think tank fighting for better treatment, prevention, a vaccine, and a cure for HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis C virus. TAG works to ensure that all people with HIV, TB, and HCV receive lifesaving treatment, care, and information. We are science-based treatment activists working to expand and accelerate vital research and effective community engagement with research and policy institutions.

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