Six Things To Know About PrEP
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- PrEP works if you take it.
Across populations, geography and route of exposure the data all point in the same direction—TDF-based PrEP works if you take it.
- It's safe.
There were no major adverse events observed in any of the trials. Some mild side effects were reported, the majority of which went away over time.
- Adherence is essential.
Each of the trials that found benefit also found that people who had high levels of adherence had high levels of protection. Lower adherence was associated with low or no protection.
- It works for both men and women.
PrEP is highly protective in both men and women, but women may need to be more adherent to reap maximum benefit (as the drug concentrates differently in the vagina as compared to the rectum).
- People who can benefit most from PrEP can — and do — take it.
Early implementation projects show that those who are at highest risk of exposure can also be highly adherent to PrEP.
- Resistance is rare.
Individual cases of HIV drug resistance (which could emerge if a person acquired HIV while on PrEP and went on taking the single drug during the time before diagnosis) have been observed in trials to date. These appear to have occurred in participants who were HIV-positive and in the “window period” of early infection when they began taking PrEP. These individuals tested HIV-negative on the trials’ screening tests. This reinforces the importance of regular testing for anyone initiating or taking PrEP.
Bottom line: Daily TDF/FTC as PrEP is a safe and effective HIV prevention option.