NPR's "Morning Edition" Examines MSM Who Use Antiretroviral Tenofovir as Method of HIV Prevention, Ongoing Studies
March 6, 2006
NPR's "Morning Edition" on Monday examined a study looking at the practice of HIV-negative men who have sex with men taking the antiretroviral drug tenofovir in an effort to protect themselves from HIV during unprotected sex. A CDC survey released in July 2005 conducted at gay pride events in four U.S. cities found that 7% of HIV-negative men said they had taken an HIV/AIDS-related medication before engaging in "risky behavior." CDC last year granted $3.5 million to fund studies in San Francisco and Atlanta to test FDA-approved tenofovir, which is sold by Gilead under the brand name Viread, to determine if it is safe to use for HIV-prevention among MSM and if using the drug would result in an increase in unsafe sex practices and higher HIV incidence. In each city, researchers plan to enroll 200 MSM in the double-blind study, in which participants will be assigned to take Viread or a placebo every day for two years (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/19/05). Susan Bookbinder, a physician conducting one of the studies for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said that researchers do not know if tenofovir will be effective in reducing the risk of HIV infection prior to exposure to the virus or how often the medication would need to be taken to be effective. The NPR segment also includes an interview with Marcus Conant, a physician who prescribes tenofovir for MSM, and an HIV-negative San Francisco resident who is participating in one of the studies (Wilson, "Morning Edition," NPR, 3/6).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.