- Gilead's once-daily Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabane) was approved by the FDA for the prevention of HIV in 2012. This regimen is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.
- According to data used by Gilead to obtain the indication, PrEP prevents HIV infection in 92% of at-risk individuals who take it. Now there are new findings confirming this data.
- Researchers and the larger HIV treatment community wanted to know how previous studies would translate in the real world. A clinical study involving 557 gay and bisexual men, as well as transgender women, in three STD infection clinics showed that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) does indeed produce results.
Men in three clinics in Washington, D.C., Miami, and San Francisco received PrEP therapy for 48 weeks. Overall, the compliance rate was 80% to 86%, based on the presence of the medication in the subjects' blood samples. Two of the 557 subjects became HIV-positive, reflecting results similar to clinical trial results.
Most telling was the fact that those with the highest levels of drug in their blood did not develop HIV, while the two subjects who became HIV-positive had very low levels of Truvada in their blood. This is a positive sign.
However, uptake still remains a problem. PrEP awareness is very low, especially among black gay and bisexual men. Outreach efforts are needed not only through standard medical and community-based LGBT networks, but also through religious and non-service based community organizations.