Conceptually, having something like The Pill anyone could take every day to prevent HIV-1 infections would be a good idea. Take some kind of preventative antretrovirals when you are sexually active and feel you are ‘at risk’, maybe prevent some new HIV-1 infections.
Tenofovirs failures arent news, at this point.
So everyone was rather surprised to learn that the FDA was granting expedited approval for Tenofovir/Truvada ‘broader use’, ie use in non-HIV+ people. There is *no* experimental evidence to suggest that is a good idea right now.
Furthermore, it recently came to light that Tenofovir might be involved in permanent kidney damage. That is, it causes damage, and that damage does *not* resolve itself after one stops the medication (file this under ‘Why antiretrovirals are a bad idea for ‘XMRV positive’ people‘. Yes, ‘XMRV positive’ patients are reporting that they are taking Tenofovir, even though XMRV does not exist as a human pathogen).
“The more we learn about Truvada as an idea for preventing HIV, the worse the idea is.”
“The FDA should not be trafficking in willful ignorance.”
AHF has long been critical that PrEP will not work on a large-scale basis because, consistent with poor medication adherence rates for most diseases, people will not be able to take Truvada as directed. Because of this, there will be little or no preventative effect, and drug resistance and drug resistant strains of HIV will develop. In addition, people who falsely believe they are fully protected against HIV very likely may engage in riskier behavior, thereby increasing their risk of HIV infection.
“The idea of giving healthy people a toxic drug that will damage their kidneys in order to possibly prevent HIV – when simple condom use is 95% effective – is the height of irresponsibility and corporate greed,” said Michael Weinstein, AHF’s President. “Widespread use of PrEP has all the makings of a public health disaster – increased HIV infections, drug resistant strains of HIV, and tens of thousands of damaged kidneys. And the FDA, in expediting its review and limiting further research, appears hell-bent on bringing this about as quickly as possible.”