What You Need to Know about PrEP-Resistant HIV

Antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, specifically Truvada (which contains two antivirals: tenofovir and emtricitabine), is now commonly prescribed for pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP. For the sweeping majority of those on the drug regimen, PrEP is highly effective in preventing the contraction of infection from your partner. However, there have been two known cases of drug-resistant HIV.

Truvada-Resistant Strain Extremely Rare

To date, there have been only two cases of HIV transmission when the individual who contracted the virus was adhering to the PrEP protocol. Both cases involve men having sex with men; in the second, most recent case, the HIV-positive partner was on ARVs with a fully suppressed viral load. Genetic tests of the virus show that the man who contracted the virus did not, in fact, contract it from his regular partner. He reported having unprotected sex with two other partners while on PrEP, and it is from one of them that he likely contracted HIV.

Keep Taking Your PrEP

HIV strains that are resistant to any antiretroviral are extremely rare. And since Truvada is formulated with two antiretrovirals, PrEP-resistant HIV is even less common. In other words, PrEP is still a highly effective method of preventing infection.

If you have an HIV-positive partner or are part of a high-risk population, please contact UNM Truman Health Services to learn more about PrEP and other strategies to reduce your risk.