34-year-old gay man who began taking pre-exposure prophylaxis in
December 2018 and was taking it every day was diagnosed with HIV in
cases where people are diagnosed with HIV while using PrEP is usually
the result of not taking the medication properly – missing doses or
not taking it as it should be.
the man who kept a diary detailing when he took the medication is
making researchers wonder if the medication is failing to protect
users. And, the researchers cannot say for sure the man didn’t
miss a dose or two leading to the diagnosis.
PrEP Failing To Protect Users
case details were presented at the 17th
annual European AIDS Conference.
participant Matthew Hodson said there were several factors that could
be the reason for PrEP failing. He said the only reason the case was
brought to life was how rare the circumstances are. There have only
been a minute number of cases where a person who has been taking PrEP
was also diagnosed with HIV.
Benhamin Hampel, with the Zurich University Hospital, told conference
attendees that it couldn’t be possible to prove a person was
completely PrEP-compliant when they contracted the virus. He said the
community would like to say the patient was non-compliant because it
was a simple reason for their HIV status.
said there might be more reasons than non-compliance for an
said PrEP, when taken properly, is still 99 percent more effective at
preventing HIV than people who don’t have HIV but have sexual
intercourse with those who have unsuppressed HIV.
man is currently using an antiretroviral therapy with his viral load
virtually undetectable, which means he cannot pass HIV onto his
partners. Only a handful of noted cases of people with HIV caught it
while using PrEP.
Sydney, Australia, a 27-year-old man was diagnosed with HIV even
though he was using a preventative medication. He had been using it
for six years before his diagnosis.
Research shows that PrEp can be 99 percent effective at stopping the spread of HIV when the pill is taken every day.