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NIH-funded analysis estimates effective PrEP dosing
Date:9/13/2012

WHAT:

Several large clinical trials have demonstrated that a daily oral dose of one or two antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV infection can prevent infection in an approach known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. The level of protection, however, depends on taking the drugs regularly. For instance, the landmark iPrEx study (http://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2010/Pages/iPrEx.aspx) found that overall, men who have sex with men who received a daily dose of tenofovir plus emtricitabine (Truvada) had a 44 percent lower risk of HIV infection compared with those who received a daily placebo pill. But for the subset of participants who had detectable drug in their bloodindicating that they were actually taking Truvada regularlythe risk of HIV infection was 92 percent less than for the placebo group.

Led by study chair Robert M. Grant, M.D., of the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, the iPrEx team recently set out to estimate what drug concentration in blood cells was associated with a 90 percent reduction in HIV infection risk, and how many Truvada doses per week would achieve that concentration. The research was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, all part of the National Institutes of Health.

The scientists examined data from the iPrEx study to determine the concentrations of tenofovir diphosphate, the active form of tenofovir, associated with different levels of protection from HIV acquisition. They focused on tenofovir diphosphate because it is believed to be the most important component of Truvada for PrEP. The researchers also conducted a small study to determine the blood concentrations of tenofovir diphosphate that result
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Contact: Laura S. Leifman
sivitzl@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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