Despite the famously slow uptake of Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV acquisition among HIV-negative people, the rate of new prescriptions appears to have accelerated, according to an essay in The Lancet. Meanwhile, numerous clinical trials are currently seeking to address the myriad questions and concerns surrounding the controversial application of this antiretroviral.

As has been widely reported, just 1,774 people used Truvada as PrEP between January 2011 and March 2013. Among them, 48 percent were women. However, the Lancet points out, there is reason to believe that the rate of new prescriptions is increasing, given the fact that 350 were issued during the first quarter of 2013. Also, the article theorizes that many of those who are currently enrolled in the various clinical trials researching Truvada as PrEP will eventually seek prescriptions for the drug once the studies complete.

While the crop of research studies currently examining PrEP is addressing ongoing concerns about toxicity and non-adherence, two current studies are also exploring whether Truvada may be effective at less-than-daily dosing. And a United Kingdom trial known as the PROUD study pilot is also looking at whether men who have sex with men (MSM) on PrEP engage in “risk compensation”—having riskier sex, or increasing the number of sexual partners because of a perceived reduction in risk—and shifting1 from a low- to a high-risk category.

To read the Lancet article, click here.