November 29, 2021
The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law announced today a new Long-Acting HIV Treatment and Prevention Policy Project as part of its Infectious Diseases Initiative. The project will engage community stakeholders and policymakers to better understand community concerns and offer policy solutions as new, innovative products become available to prevent and treat HIV. This project will build on prior work conducted in partnership with amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, in 2018.
“There is no question that efforts to end HIV in the United States are facing headwinds, especially due to setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the diversion of HIV personnel and resources to the pandemic response,” said Jeffrey S. Crowley, distinguished scholar and director of the Infectious Diseases Initiative. “The emergence of a range of new long-acting products is a bright spot that can help to get our collective efforts back on track.”
Despite current advancements, the standard of care for HIV treatment and prevention today — a daily oral pill — remains inaccessible for some. Achieving population-level gains in durable HIV viral suppression and expanding access to effective pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) will be greatly advanced by new treatment and prevention modalities, including implants and injectable products along with oral medications. For new groundbreaking products to be effective, individuals who need them most must have access and want to use them. Providers must be willing to prescribe them, and policymakers must understand the importance of these products. This project addresses these key concerns to support timely introduction and uptake of long-acting products in a manner that leads to improved outcomes and reduced population disparities.
“Maintaining regular community engagement around long-acting HIV treatment and prevention is important. I am particularly excited that this project will enable us to establish community stakeholder working groups with whom we will create a two-way dialogue to educate communities about emerging products and research findings and identify questions and policy issues to be addressed,” said Sean E. Bland, senior HIV associate and project lead.
The project will be guided by an advisory group consisting of the following people: Damián Cabrera-Candelaria, NMAC; Kenyon Farrow, PrEP4ALL; Tim Horn, NASTAD; Vanessa Johnson, Positive Women’s Network – USA; Antoinette Jones, SisterLove, Inc.; Oscar Lopez, Poderosos; J. Maurice McCants-Pearsall, Human Rights Campaign; Jim Pickett, AIDS Foundation Chicago; and Bamby Salcedo, TransLatin@ Coalition.
This project is made possible by grants from Gilead Sciences, Merck and Company, and ViiV Healthcare. The O’Neill Institute will conduct the project independently of all corporate sponsors and will retain editorial control over all aspects of the project.
For comment or to schedule an interview, please contact Cynthia Sun at Cynthia.Sun@georgetown.edu.