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CROI 2015: Daily PrEP Leads to Better Adherence and Protective Drug Levels in Women

HIV-negative African women assigned to take once-daily Truvada for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) achieved better adherence than those assigned to take PrEP twice-weekly or before and after sex, according to findings from the HPTN 067 trial presented at the recent 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle.

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Women in PrEP Trial Feared Having to Leave Study if They Reported Low Adherence

Post-study interviews and computer questionnaires conducted with former participants in the Fem-PrEP trial of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) that reported zero effectiveness show that the women concealed their low adherence because -- despite reassurances from researchers -- they feared they would be asked to leave the study, according to a report in the April 2015 Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

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Some Providers Remain Reluctant to Prescribe HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis

Despite a growing body of evidence showing that Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is highly effective for HIV prevention, less than half of surveyed healthcare providers are likely to prescribe it for at-risk heterosexuals or people who inject drugs -- though the likelihood approaches 80% for gay men with HIV-positive partners -- according to a study published in the April edition of HIV Specialist, the magazine of the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM).

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HIV Risk Behavior Remains Common Among People Who Inject Drugs in U.S.

An analysis from the CDC's National HIV Behavioral Surveillance system found that 11% of injection drug users in 20 U.S. cities were HIV-positive in 2012, according to a report in the March 20 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. One-third of the interviewees reported sharing used injection equipment, putting them at risk for acquiring HIV and hepatitis B and C, while a majority reported sex without condoms.

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Study Suggests HIV May Be Less Infectious than Assumed During Early Infection

The likelihood of HIV transmission during the acute phase of HIV infection may not be as high as previously estimated based on data from a retrospective cohort study in Rakai, Uganda, according to an analysis published in the March 17 edition of PLoS Medicine. If confirmed, these findings suggests that antiretroviral treatment as prevention (TasP) may be even more effective, as it would not be compromised as much by transmission occurring before partners with HIV are diagnosed and start therapy.

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