Gay men who were among the first to take Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV reported improved peace of mind over their risk of infection, aidsmap reports. Presenting their findings at the 9th International Conference on HIV Treatment and Prevention Adherence in Miami, researchers interviewed 87 men who participated in iPrEX OLE, the open-label extension phase of the trial that first proved PrEP’s efficacy.

About 70 percent of those interviewed chose to take Truvada, most of whom saw themselves at risk for HIV and were highly motivated to remain HIV negative.

Those taking PrEP reported seeing the therapy as an extra layer of protection and an adjunct to condoms, which they used some or all of the time. They often compared Truvada to other risk-reduction tools such as parachutes or seat belts.

The most common reason for stopping the use of Truvada was because of changes in their personal risk factors: for example, if a man entered into a monogamous relationship with another HIV-negative partner. Some were also fearful of potential side effects. However, few had actual side effects that motivated them to stop taking PrEP.

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