The only way is up: priorities for implementing long-acting antiretrovirals for HIV prevention and treatment
Purpose of review: Long-acting HIV treatment and prevention (LAHTP) can address some of the achievement gaps of daily oral therapy to bring us closer to achieving Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS Fast-track goals. Implementing these new technologies presents individual-level, population-level, and health systems-level opportunities and challenges.
Recent findings: To optimize LAHTP implementation and impact, decision-makers should define and gather relevant data to inform their investment case within the existing health systems context. Programmatic observations from scale-up of antiretroviral therapy, oral preexposure prophylaxis, voluntary medical male circumcision, and family planning offer lessons as planning begins for implementation of LAHTP. Additional data intelligence should be derived from formative studies, pragmatic clinical trials, epidemiologic and economic modeling of LAHTP. Key implementation issues that need to be addressed include optimal communication strategies for demand creation; target setting; logistics and supply chain of commodities needed for LAHTP delivery; human resource planning; defining and operationalizing monitoring and evaluating metrics; integration into health systems.
Summary: Successful LAHTP implementation can bolster treatment and prevention coverage levels if implementation issues outlined above are proactively addressed in parallel with research and development so that health systems can more rapidly integrate new technologies as they gain regulatory approval.