Implementing Long-acting Injectable PrEP with an Eye Toward Equity: Yale’s Dr. LaRon Nelson at CROI 2023
During the 2023 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), HIV.gov spoke with LaRon Nelson, PhD, RN, FNP, FNAP, FAAN, of Yale University about his presentation on the hope long-acting injectable HIV PrEP offer if they are implemented with an eye toward equity.
Watch and share our conversation with Dr. Nelson, Associate Dean for Global Affairs & Planetary Health and Independence Foundation Professor, Yale School of Nursing.
Dr. Nelson’s presentation, “Inevitable Inequalities: Why We Keep Making the Same Mistakes and How We Can Stop It,” was delivered as part of the symposium, “Delivering on the Success of Injectable PrEP.” He emphasized the importance of addressing social and structural impediments that result in disparities in access to and use of oral and injectable therapies for HIV prevention and, ultimately, HIV incidence.
“One of the things we’ve seen is that the disparities, at least racial disparities, but gender disparities as well, have actually increased since the introduction of oral PrEP,” Dr. Nelson said. “If those social and structural factors are not changed, then the introduction of a new innovation such as injectable PrEP will just widen those disparities or threaten to widen those disparities.”
Dr. Nelson said he wanted to help CROI attendees understand what he saw as the mistakes made during rollout of prior innovations in HIV and what can be done to address those mistakes as new discoveries are made and deployed to decrease disparities and accelerate an end to the HIV epidemic. He also encouraged community members to find ways to become involved in the design phase of new HIV products and services to help ensure discoveries have uptake and real-world impact.
“It does no good to have an inventory of drugs, or tools, or devices that can’t get used, and there are a lot of factors that go into it,” he said. “And we know that if we don’t pay attention to those, what we potentially will see is these disparities that we’re trying to decrease actually widen.”
Dr. Nelson added that decreasing disparities cannot happen unless members of the HIV community and practitioners are working hand-in-hand with scientists in all phases of research.
CROI is an annual scientific meeting that brings together leading researchers and clinical investigators from around the world to present, discuss, and critique the latest studies that can help accelerate global progress in the response to HIV and other infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and mpox. The 2023 meeting took place in Seattle. More than 3,400 HIV and infectious disease researchers from 72 countries participated in person or virtually and over 900 scientific abstracts were presented. Visit the conference websiteExit Disclaimer for more information; abstracts, session webcasts, and e-posters will be published there for public access 30 days after the conference concludes.