A 43-year-old gay man is believed to be the first person to contract HIV while on daily Truvada PrEP antiviral medication. PrEP stands for “pre-exposure prophylaxis.” One pill contains 2 antiviral drugs (tenofovir and emtricitabine) to prevent HIV infection in people who engage in high risk, unprotected sex.
Ideally, men on PrEP prophylaxis therapy should also use condoms.
The landmark case was presented at a recent HIV conference by Dr. David Knox, an HIV specialist at the Maple Leaf Medical Clinic in Boston.
The evidence he presented shows the man contracted a strain of HIV that is resistant to PrEP and other antiviral drugs.
Critics of Truvada and similar PrEP medications have warned about PrEP leading to an increase in high risk behavior by gays who believe PrEP will protect them from contracting HIV.
“After 32 years of experience with HIV research, I have learned never to say ‘never’,” said Robert M. Grant, MD, MPH, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco.
He added: “Yet I also think that gay men benefit from feeling safer during sex, and I am grateful that PrEP affords that feeling.”
Dr. Grant is confident that the man who is now HIV positive never missed a dose of PrEp before seroconverting from HIV negative.
“This person claims he was taking PrEP every day and I believe him,” said Grant.
Be safe out there!