HIV: preventive pill does not promote risk behavior

consomme-tous-jours-avant-relationWhat happens there if given to people at high risk of contracting HIV pill that immunizes them against the virus? The answer: not that many fear. Consumers are not massively abandon condoms and do not have sex with more partners.

This is according to a study by Clinique médicale l’Actuel for Truvada, a controversial drug that prevents HIV transmission. These results will be announced tomorrow in Vancouver at the annual conference of the International AIDS Society.

“These are important results because the main obstacle to taking Truvada, both in the medical community that the gay community is the idea that it will encourage risky behavior. But in most cases this is not what we observe, “says Réjean Thomas, director of the Clinique médicale l’Actuel and author of the study.

Truvada raises waves around the world for the great potential but also the fears it arouses. Consumed daily or before sex at risk, it reduces to almost zero the risk of contracting HIV. It is especially popular among the gay community.

In Quebec, Truvada used for preventive purposes is reimbursed by the Board of health insurance for $ 950 per month. England recommends instead to avoid it, fearing that it encourages unprotected sex.

Followed 266 patients

L’Actuel followed 266 patients using Truvada. The clinic prescribed to people at high risk of contracting HIV. The majority of them have ever had a sexually transmitted infection (79%) had sex with partners infected with HIV (67%) and have sex under the influence of drugs (73%). The subjects use condoms than in 70% of their relationship.

Three months after using Truvada, several patients reported having reduced their consumption of drugs and alcohol. In 34% of cases, they had reduced their number of sexual partners. Only downside: 16% of respondents said they use condoms less, a “concern” in the eyes of Réjean Thomas.

“We should see why this minority use condoms less. We know that both partners for Truvada, for example, use fewer condoms together, “he argues.

Dr. Thomas explains the improvement in other risk factors that patients are monitored for Truvada every three months and receive several health boards. For many, it is a little chance to take control.

“There is a global management via this tool, says Thomas. We just do not give a pill. ”

Evolution
Three months after starting preventive treatment with Truvada, the following changes were observed (% of patients).

Drug use

> Reduction: 13%

> Increase: 3%

Drinking

> Reduction: 9%

> Increase 4%

Number of sexual partners

> Reduction: 34%

> Increase: 7%

Condom use

> Reduction: 16%

> Increase 9%

23% had discontinued treatment for all kinds of reasons.

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