Taking stock of the present and looking ahead: envisioning challenges in the design of future HIV prevention efficacy trials.


Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Despite the recent success of antiretrovirals for HIV prevention, additional, more effective, or more acceptable biomedical interventions will ultimately be needed to end the HIV epidemic. Designing clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of new products that reduce HIV infection risk is challenging because of the existence of highly effective interventions to prevent HIV. However, the implementation of these interventions is uneven, and the fact that multiple HIV prevention efficacy trials are currently evaluating new products means the field confronts uncertainty in the emerging standard of prevention. In this Viewpoint, we take stock of the current state of HIV prevention, and subsequently discuss the key challenges in designing future trials to evaluate the next generation of HIV prevention products. We also highlight gaps in the knowledge base that need to be addressed to advance the design of research. Future trials are tenable, even in the context of existing and effective interventions, and should involve careful statistical approaches and multidisciplinary collaborative design.