An estimated 56,000 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections occur each year in the United States (1). Men who have sex with men (MSM) account for 53% of the estimated incident infections, and surveillance data suggest that the annual number of new HIV infections among MSM has been rising since the mid-1990s (1).
Strategies for reducing acquisition of HIV infection by MSM have included the following:
1) Expanded HIV testing so that infected persons can be treated and their risk for transmitting infection minimized
2) Individual, small-group, and community-level behavioral interventions to reduce risk behaviors (2)
3) Promotion of condom use
4) Detection and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (3)
5) Mental health and substance abuse counseling when needed
On November 23, 2010, investigators for the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Initiative (iPrEX) study announced results from a multinational, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase III clinical trial of daily oral antiretrovirals (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate [TDF] and emtricitabine [FTC]) to prevent acquisition of HIV infection among uninfected but exposed MSM (4).
This report provides interim guidance to health-care providers based on the reported results of that trial, which indicated that TDF plus FTC taken orally once a day as preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is safe and partially effective in reducing HIV acquisition among MSM when provided with regular monitoring of HIV status and ongoing risk-reduction and PrEP medication adherence counseling.