June 21, 2024

Please see below for statements from the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law’s health law experts on the findings of the PURPOSE 1 HIV prevention study among adolescent girls and young women in South Africa and Uganda.  

Charles Holmes, professor and director of the Georgetown Center for Innovation in Global Health; former PEPFAR chief medical officer and deputy PEPFAR coordinator

The recently released results from the PURPOSE trials are breathtaking and unprecedented. The complete prevention of new infections among adolescent girls and women taking twice-yearly lenacapavir demonstrates the power of investing in science and the value of community participation in our fight against the global HIV pandemic.

Twice-yearly administration is a game-changer — and if approved and widely available — lenacapavir will help to reduce the stigma associated with HIV prevention and help to reduce new HIV infections moving forward. Our focus now needs to be on continuing to build people-centered and sustainable primary healthcare systems and HIV programs that are able to deliver effective interventions such as this in a way that meets people where they are.

Kirk Grisham, Program Manager, Longer-Acting HIV Treatment and Prevention Policy Project. The Infectious Diseases Initiative’s Longer-Acting Policy Project is supported by grants from Gilead Sciences, Merck, and ViiV Healthcare.

We are pleased to learn that the twice-yearly longer-acting injectable, lenacapavir, has been shown to be 100% efficacious at preventing HIV among women and adolescent girls in South Africa and Uganda.

We eagerly await findings from the remaining PURPOSE Trials conducted in the United States and among men who have sex with men, cisgender women, transgender women, transgender men, non-binary individuals and injection drug users. While the trial results are exciting, once this product is approved for use we also must focus on ensuring access for all who can benefit from it.

If you are interested in interviews with the experts, please contact Heena Patel, O’Neill Institute director of strategic communications, at hp498@georgetown.edu.