A participant on the Victorian PrEPX study has recently tested positive for HIV.
It is estimated that over 100,000 people in the world are taking PrEP – with Australia leading the way with around 10,000 people taking PrEP on state-based clinical studies as well as through consult with their doctor for personal importation.
It is important for the PrEP community to remain confident that their PrEP works. PrEP remains the most effective tool for HIV-negative people to use to protect themselves from HIV infection. PrEP is ineffective if the individual does not take their medication as prescribed, or if they come into contact with a rare strain of HIV which is resistant to both drugs in their PrEP medication.
Across the globe there have been less than a handful of reports of people who have acquired HIV whilst taking PrEP as directed. In each case because the person was in a care plan for their PrEP they have been notified, and put onto treatment and were able to reach an undetectable viral load.
In Australia there is very little resistance to the drugs in PrEP – so the risk of a drug resistant HIV outbreak in Australia is tremendously low.
Regular testing means that this incredibly rare potential PrEP failure becomes a treatment success for the individual, as well as the community.
We have every confidence that the PrEPX study team will be ensuring the newly positive individual receives the proper care, treatment – and resistance testing to understand whether this case is due to drug resistance or challenges to adherence.
Study investigators do not advise that those on PrEP stop taking their medication, and PAN supports that advice wholeheartedly.
PAN is available to make comment, or to assist community members with questions at any time.
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