Djomand G, Bingham T, Benech I, Muthui M, Savva H, Alamo S, Manopaiboon C, Wheeler T, Mital S.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Feb 28;69(8):212-215. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6908a3.
The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest bilateral funder of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention and control programs worldwide, currently supports implementation of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce HIV incidence among persons at substantial risk for infection, including female sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender women (hereafter referred to as key populations). Recent estimates suggest that 54% of all global new HIV infections in 2018 occurred among key populations and their sexual partners (1). In 2016, PEPFAR began tracking initiation of PrEP by key populations and other groups at high risk (2). The implementation and scale-up of PrEP programs across 35 PEPFAR-supported country or regional programs* was assessed by determining the number of programs reporting any new PrEP clients during each quarter from October 2016 to September 2018. As of September 2018, only 15 (43%) PEPFAR-supported country or regional programs had implemented PrEP programs; however, client volume increased by 3,351% over the assessment period in 15 country or regional programs. Scale-up of PrEP among general population clients (5,255%) was nearly three times that of key population clients (1,880%). Among key populations, the largest increase (3,518%) occurred among MSM. Factors that helped drive the success of these PrEP early adopter programs included initiation of national, regional, and multilateral stakeholder meetings; engagement of ministries of health and community advocates; revision of HIV treatment guidelines to include PrEP; training for HIV service providers; and establishment of drug procurement policies. These best practices can help facilitate PrEP implementation, particularly among key populations, in other country or regional programs to reduce global incidence of HIV infection.