Healthcare providers should advise people at “substantial risk” for HIV infection about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) using tenofovir/emtricitabine, or Truvada, according to new guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes HIV negative people in an ongoing sexual relationship with HIV positive partners, gay or bisexual men who have had sex without condoms during the past 6 months, heterosexual men and women who have sex without condoms with at-risk partners, and injection drug users.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Truvada for PrEP in July 2012. Only Truvada taken every daily has been approved for HIV prevention. Taking it sporadically before sex or as a “morning after pill” has not been proven effective. HIV testing is important before starting PrEP, as a person who already has HIV and takes Truvada without other antiretrovirals could develop drug-resistant virus.