Long-acting injectable cabotegravir (Apretude) offered greater protection than daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) pills for Black gay and bisexual cisgender men and transgender women, but Black people still had higher HIV incidence rates compared with their white peers regardless of which type of PrEP they used, researchers reported at the 30th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).
Adherence was higher with the every-other-month injections than with daily pills in both groups, suggesting long-acting PrEP could help close the racial gap in HIV rates. “[Apretude] is a powerful HIV prevention tool to increase access to PrEP and address continued racial disparities in HIV incidence in the United States,” Hyman Scott, MD, MPH, of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and colleagues concluded.
Although African Americans make up about 13% of the U.S. population, they account for more than 40% of all new HIV diagnoses, so effective and acceptable prevention interventions are urgently needed. While white gay and bi men have readily adopted oral PrEP using tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine (Truvada and TDF/FTC generic equivalents) or tenofovir alafenamide/emtricitabine (Descovy), uptake has been lower among Black men.