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PreVAIL Presented at CROI 2024 Conference

April 12, 2024 | Jennifer Gonzales

Dr. Cassidy Claassen attended the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections - CROI 2024 showing early results of PrEP Uptake and Persistence among Incarcerated People in Zambia study.

In response to the heightened vulnerability to HIV transmission in correctional facilities, particularly in low to middle-income countries (LMICs), a novel initiative was launched last year to introduce HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) within Zambian prisons. While this initiative marked a significant advancement, a critical gap remains: the lack of comprehensive data on how to effectively implement and sustain PrEP uptake among incarcerated individuals. 

The Prison PrEP Values, Adherence, and Implementation (PreVAIL) study was developed to address these knowledge gaps surrounding HIV prevention among justice-involved populations. Representing a collaborative effort between UMB, CIDRZ, and Zambia Correctional Services, PreVAIL is one of the first studies observational studies on PrEP uptake, persistence, and adherence among incarcerated persons.  The study aims to optimize PrEP delivery both during and after incarceration.  

PreVAIL employs a mixed-methods research approach, combining quantitative analysis with qualitative insights to comprehensively evaluate PrEP uptake rates, adherence levels, and persistence rates among justice-involved individuals living with HIV in Zambia. PreVAIL seeks to understand and enhance HIV prevention methods within correctional facilities.  

Initial results from the PreVAIL study were presented at the 2024 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) 2024, the leading international conference for advancements in HIV and AIDS research.  

At the time of presentation, almost 500 incarcerated persons consented and enrolled in the study, and 50% of those individuals chose to initiate PrEP. PreVAIL study participants who had heard of PrEP were more likely to initiate, and 82% of those who initiated PrEP at enrollment and had completed a one-month follow-up visit were still on PrEP. As qualitative interviews with participants are conducted and further follow-up visits continue, the early result from PreVAIL suggest high demand for PrEP among incarcerated persons in Zambia.  


Jennifer Gonzales
Communications and Public Relations Manager

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