Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) involves putting HIV negative people on antiretroviral drugs (ARV) with the aim of protecting them from HIV infection. This blog looks at some of the pros and cons of PrEP.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Truvada and Tenofovir PrEP Trials Continue in Kenya Despite Setbacks

There are still PrEP trials going on in Kenya, this time among 4,800 discordant couples in the Thika area. The work is partly funded by the Gates Foundation, which is not surprising. But one of the findings in the shelved FEM-PrEP trial was that more women on the drug became pregnant than those on the placebo, despite all women taking some kind of contraceptive as a condition of the trial.

Increased fertility will not please either FHI, the institution running the FEM-PrEP trial, not the Gates Foundation, as both are firm believers in the assumption that development is a matter of population control, something that used to be called 'eugenics'.

Although antiretroviral (ARV) industry front group AVAC are trying to paint a rosy picture of PrEP, FEM-PrEP wasn't the first disaster. The iPrEx trial results were far too poor to allow further trials to proceed without extreme caution. Despite that, some groups are calling for approval of the use of Truvada as PrEP to be fast-tracked by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

[For more about HIV and development, see my other blog.]


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