PhD Liza Coyer and Dr. Elske Hoornenborg receive PhD Publication Award 2019

On 22 September 2020, Liza Coyer and Elske Hoornenborg were awarded with the PhD Publication Award 2019 by the AMC Graduate School. They received the award for their article on sexual behavior and HIV and STI incidence among daily and event-driven PrEP users in the Amsterdam PrEP  (AMPrEP) project. This prize is awarded each year to the most outstanding publication by a PhD student from the Graduate School. The jury of the PhD Publication Award consists of experienced AMC scientists who look for quality and originality of the publication, and dedication and independence of the researcher. Earlier this year, on January 22nd, Elske defended her PhD thesis on PrEP in the Netherlands (see here). Liza is currently finishing her PhD.

The AMPrEP publication by Elske and Liza showed that while PrEP users decreased their use of condoms over time since PrEP initiation, the incidence of bacterial STI remained stable. It also confirmed the notion that PrEP is effective, reporting very few HIV infections, even when STI incidence is high. Moreover, it was the first publication worldwide to report outcomes for a setting in which users have a free choice between two regimens of PrEP: daily pill use and event-driven (i.e. before and after sex). It revealed that users of the two regimens have different behavior profiles, likely stemming from their reasons behind choosing one over the other to begin with, resulting in remarkable differences in STI incidences: daily PrEP users had almost double the incidence compared to event-driven users. Accordingly, the publication concluded that STI prevention interventions should therefore be tailored according to sexual behavior. Results of the publication have been used in the advice of the Dutch Health Council regarding implementation of PrEP. Based on the advice a national PrEP roll-out program for 6500 persons for a 5-year period started in August 2019.

The award ceremony can be watched here.


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