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HIV Prevention

Studies have been done or are being done to see if antiretroviral medications currently used to treat HIV in persons infected with HIV can also prevent HIV infection.
HIV drugs being examined for HIV prevention use include maraviroc (also called Selzentry or MVC), emtricitabine (also called Emtriva or FTC) and tenofovir (also called Viread or TDF). We do not yet know the results of all of these studies. One study, called the iPrEX study, was completed in 2010. The iPrEX study showed that FTC and TDF taken together might lower the chances of getting HIV in men who have sex with men. Some of the men given these two drugs in the iPrEX study took the drugs more regularly; these men seem to have been less likely to get infected with HIV. The iPrEX study found no serious safety concerns. These findings are encouraging, but other studies are needed. First, we need to confirm the iPrEX results. Second, we need to see if other antiretrovirals or combinations of antiretrovirals are safe and might be better in preventing HIV infection.

Additionally, two studies showed support for the use of antiretrovirals for HIV prevention. The Centers for Disease Control TDF-2 trial showed that daily TDF/FTC was safe and effective for prevention of HIV infection among African heterosexual men and women compared to placebo. The Partners PrEP study, which enrolled African heterosexual couples (one HIV positive and the other HIV negative), compared TDF once daily and TDF/FTC once daily regimens versus placebo. The TDF and TDF/FTC PrEP demonstrated a lower chance of getting HIV. Both studies showed that taking these drugs in this way was safe and well-tolerated.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, involves taking a medication pill by mouth on a regular daily basis (think of a birth control pill) for people at high risk for getting infected with HIV. 

The UCLA CARE Center has a study opening in summer 2012 to examine the safety of taking certain combinations of HIV drugs to prevent HIV infection:

NEXT-PrEP (HPTN 069 / ACTG 5305)

Study for HIV negative women who may be at risk for HIV infection through having sex.  This study examines the safety of using drugs, which are currently approved by the FDA to treat HIV infection, to prevent HIV infection, as well as how well people who take them can handle them (meaning, do they make you feel sick, which is referred to as "tolerability").

For more information about the NEXT-PrEP study, please contact:
Phone:  (310) 557-9062
Email:  CAREOutreach@mednet.ucla.edu

To learn more about one man's experience with PrEP, watch this video: