By Gerard Gallagher

Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, for HIV prevention has a similar efficacy in women with “abnormal” vs. “normal” vaginal microbiota, according to recent findings.

Renee Heffron, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Global Health and Epidemiology at the University of Washington, and colleagues used data from the Partners PrEP study to evaluate the efficacy of daily oral Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, Gilead Sciences; FTC/TDF) among women with bacterial vaginosis (BV) after recent data suggested that a vaginal gel containing tenofovir (TFV) may not adequately protect this population from HIV infection.

“In that study, women with abnormal vaginal microbiota did not have any protection from the tenofovir gel whereas women with normal microbiota did have protection,” Heffron said. “This is important because BV is common, affecting more than 25% — even up to 50% — of African women at risk for HIV.”

Partners PrEP was led by faculty at the International Clinical Research Center in the Department of Global Health, with collaborators in Kenya and Uganda, to study HIV discordant couples.


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