Injection drug users (IDUs) are intrigued by Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) but wary of its place in the larger scope of harm reduction methods. Publishing their findings in the journal Addiction, researchers conducted an analysis of a report of three community consultations led by the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD), which included 75 people from 33 countries.
IDUs are enthusiastic about PrEP, according to the report, but have three main concerns, including:
- The feasibility of PrEP rollout among IDUs as well as various ethical considerations, such as prescribing antiretrovirals to HIV-negative IDUs when rates of treatment for the virus among HIV-positive drug users is low
- Whether PrEP’s use may undermine other harm reduction methods among IDUs
- Uneasiness about the medicalization of HIV prevention, which some argue deflects attention from more global factors driving transmission of HIV among IDUs.
The researchers concluded: “Greater community engagement in HIV prevention strategy is needed, or we risk continuing to ignore the need for action on the underlying structural drivers and social context of the HIV epidemic.”
To read the paper’s abstract, click here.