What is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)?
PrEP is a new HIV prevention method that involves HIV negative people taking anti-HIV medications daily to help prevent HIV infection. Several studies have shown that PrEP can reduce the risk of becoming HIV-infected when taken as part of a package of prevention services. One of these studies showed that PrEP was safe and effective for HIV prevention in gay and bi men and transwomen in San Francisco and other parts of the world.
What is The Demo Project?
The Demo Project is a study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), that will evaluate the delivery of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in STD clinics. The program will enroll up to 300 HIV-uninfected gay and bi men and transgender women at the San Francisco City Clinic, the only municipal STD clinic in San Francisco, and an additional 200 participants at a Department of Health STD clinic in Miami, Florida.
What are the goals of The Demo Project?
The Demo Project will address the following questions:
- Who wants PrEP?
- How will PrEP be used?
- Does taking PrEP affect the way people have sex?
- Can PrEP be provided through public health clinics?
What does participation in The Demo Project involve?
- Attending study visits at the clinic over 12 months (approximately once every 3 months)
- Being provided Truvada to take once daily
- Regular HIV testing, risk reduction counseling, and condoms
- Medication adherence counseling (to help with taking PrEP daily)
- STD testing and treatment
- Answering questionnaires on sexual behavior and drug use
What’s in the pill?
Truvada contains two medications, tenofovir and emtricitibine. Truvada is commonly used to treat HIV positive individuals in combination with other anti-HIV medications. Truvada was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2012 for the prevention of HIV-infection in HIV-negative men and women.
Is it safe?
From what we know so far, Truvada for PrEP is safe and well tolerated.
About 1 in 10 people in the PrEP studies reported that they had headache, stomach pain, or weight loss when they first started taking Truvada. In most people, these side effects improved or went away after they’d been taking the Truvada for a few weeks.
A small number of people had a slight decrease in kidney function that normalized when they stopped the medication. Small losses of bone density (thickness) have been seen in people taking Truvada. These changes have not been associated with an increase in fractures in these studies.
Everyone enrolled in The PrEP Demo Project will be monitored closely for side effects and changes in kidney function.
You will be able to talk with a clinician about potential side effects of Truvada before enrolling in the PrEP Demo Project.
Can I participate?
Interested HIV negative gay and bi men and transwomen should inquire about the project at their next City Clinic visit, or call: (415) 487-5537 for more information or to schedule a PrEP screening visit.