Raltegravir, Tenofovir DF, and Emtricitabine for Postexposure Prophylaxis to Prevent the Sexual Transmission of HIV: Safety, Tolerability, and Adherence

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Antiretroviral drugs have been recommended for postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) after high-risk sexual exposures for more than a decade. Three drug regimens could offer the highest levels of protection, particularly if the infectious source is taking medication, but drug intolerance has often led to suboptimal adherence. The current study evaluated a novel 3-drug PEP regimen, consisting of raltegravir, tenofovir DF, and emtricitabine. Of 100 participants enrolled in this study at a Boston community health center that has had a comprehensive PEP program for more than a decade, 85 were evaluable at 3 months and none became HIV infected. Fifty seven percent of those enrolled completed the regimen as prescribed, and 27% took their medicine daily, but sometimes missed the second daily dose of Raltegravir. The most common side effects reported included nausea or vomiting (27%), diarrhea (21%), headache (15%), fatigue (14%), abdominal symptoms (including pain, gas, or bloating) (16%), and myalgias or arthralgias (8%), all of which were mild and tended to be self-limited, not resulting in drug discontinuation. The side effects were significantly less common than those reported by historical controls, who used a 3-drug PEP regimen including zidovudine, lamivudine, and a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor. Raltegravir, tenofovir DF, and emtricitabine may be useful as a 3-drug regimen for PEP.

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