HIV rise sparks call to fast track antiretroviral approval

The Melbourne Declaration, delivered today at the Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference, also calls for approval of rapid testing to be expedited by the TGA and funded to make it widely available.

In July the US FDA approved Gilead’s Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) for prophylactic use by people at high risk of acquiring HIV through sexual activity.

The approval was based on studies that found daily doses cut the risk of infection in healthy gay and bisexual men by 42% when accompanied by condoms and counselling. Another study found Truvada reduced infection by 75% in heterosexual couples where one individual was infected with HIV.

“We feel the evidence is there that it works. Those studies were very tightly managed randomised controlled trials,” said Dr Edwina Light, president of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM).

Dr Light said there were calls globally for real world studies into the use of antiretrovirals