Study: PrEP Remains Effective Regardless of Sexual Activity Frequency

Dosing based around the frequency of sexual activity provides adequate protection for men vulnerable to HIV infection.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, typically is prescribed as a daily regimen: A single pill comprised of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate plus emtricitabine is swallowed each day to provide maximum protection against HIV infection. Recent research focused on obviating the need for daily dosing has revealed that dosing based around the frequency of sexual activity provides adequate protection for men vulnerable to HIV infection.

Investigators set out to learn whether this remains true for men who engage in less frequent sex, who would therefore take less frequent doses of PrEP. The results were published in The Lancet HIV. The investigators running France’s ANRS IPERGAY trial, a double-blind study which confirmed that on-demand PrEP reduced HIV risk in sexually active men, analyzed data on 400 subjects who took part.

The subjects had been randomized to receive either PrEP or a placebo. Out of the 400 subjects, 270 reported at least 1 episode during which they were less sexually active (a median of 5 instances of sexual activity per month) but still adhered to their on-demand PrEP regimens. The on-demand regimens consisted of 2 pills anywhere from 2 to 24 hours before having sex, another pill 24 hours after the first 2, and a final pill 24 hours after that.

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