Sub-analysis underscores the value of PrEP in protecting women’s health
New CDC data from Botswana show that both women and men were highly adherent to using daily oral HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, over the course of a one-year open-label study. Because this study more closely replicated a real-world setting than its preceding clinical trial – since participants received no financial compensation and all were aware they were taking an active drug – the findings may provide a better indication of likely adherence among women and men seeking to use PrEP for HIV prevention.
A strong body of existing research shows that daily oral PrEP can be highly effective for both heterosexual men and women, when taken consistently. While some PrEP studies have found that women were not protected from HIV because they did not take the medication regularly, as prescribed, together with encouraging recent evidence from the ADAPT study among women in Cape Town, these new findings confirm that women who are at risk for HIV can adhere to daily PrEP. With women and girls accounting for more than half of all people living with HIV worldwide – and 10,000 new infections occurring among women each year in the U.S. alone – PrEP offers a much needed, female controlled method of protection for women at high risk.