Monday, July 14, 2014

The new HIV-prevention pill (Truvada) is still controversial

There’s a new blue pill which is being touted for HIV-negative people as a way to prevent infection with HIV from sex with an infected person (especially for MSM).  It’s called Truvada, and the process is called “pre-exposure prophylaxis” or “PRep”.  (Yes, that sounds like a “prep” in organic chemistry lab, for undergraduates). 

It’s expensive ($14000 a year), and I would question whether normal insurance would cover it.  If you think that Hobby Lobby had an issue with contraception, see how this plays out.

The drug is said by some to be pretty safe as far as side effects (remember that was an issue for a long time with protease inhibitors, until more recent years).  But it might increase HIV drug resistance or even mutation among someone recently exposed but not yet detectable. 

On the side effects, however, some people report fever and fatigue, and mental laziness, as well as loss of libido.  

CDC says it should not replace condom use, and is not necessary for most people other than active MSM.  Vox Media has a “10 things you need to know” explainer here. This may not be the last of it.

1 comment:

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