However, there are several criticisms and concerns about PrEP. First, that data on the effectiveness of PrEP, especially in women, are inconsistent. This concern is based on the results of two PrEP studies—the FEM-PrEP2 and VOICE3, 4 trials—which were stopped, at least partly, earlier than planned when they did not show efficacy. To some extent, this concern has been allayed by recent data from the FEM-PrEP trial5 which show that adherence to daily tenofovir-emtricitabine in the trial was too low allow assessment of efficacy. Data to explain the VOICE trial, which still has an ongoing tenofovir-emtricitabine group, are not expected until 2013.
Second, some suggest that antiretroviral drugs should be provided to HIV-negative people only when all eligible HIV-positive patients are receiving ART. Although it is a legitimate concern that eligible HIV-positive patients should be prioritised for ART for their own health and to save their lives, it is spurious to trade off treatment and prevention as if these drugs are being taken away from sick and dying patients to be given to healthy people. Treatment and prevention strategies are a continuum in their use of antiretroviral drugs—both are needed in conjunction with each other to ensure ART provision is sustainable in the long term and to realise the quest to end the HIV epidemic.
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