A pilot study of a home monitoring kit for people taking Truvada (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine) as pre-exposure prophylaxis showed promise that PrEP@Home, as the system is called, could streamline the process of maintaining a PrEP prescription, aidsmap reports.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines stipulate that individuals on PrEP should be tested for HIV every three months and also receive routine monitoring to assess their level of HIV risk and adherence to the daily Truvada regimen and to conduct kidney function and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing.

Publishing their findings in Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers recruited 58 people on PrEP to receive the PrEP@Home kit to replace three out of four of their quarterly PrEP monitoring clinic visits. The package provided them tools to collect specimens for STI and HIV testing along with written instructions, a link to an instructional video, a prepaid mailing envelope in which to return their specimens and a 24-hour phone number to call for assistance. They were also instructed to complete an online questionnaire for behavioral monitoring.

Two people dropped out of the study because they had difficulty collecting blood samples for the HIV test, drawn from a finger prick. An additional two people did not return adequate specimens for testing.

Seventy-eight percent of the participants were younger than 40 years old. A bit more than half were white, 22 percent were Black and 11 percent were Asian.

In 75 percent of the questionnaires, the participants reported missing no Truvada doses during the previous week.

Eighty-five percent of the participants said they would prefer to use the PrEP@Home kit rather than make standard clinic visits. Seven of the 55 participants included in the final analysis said that drawing rectal samples was unacceptable or very unacceptable to them, while 10 people said the same about pricking their finger to draw blood.

About one in three of the participants said they would be more likely to stay on PrEP if they could use the PrEP@Home monitoring system.

This fall, researchers will kick off a larger randomized trial of the monitoring system in four cities, with results not expected for several years.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.

To read the abstract, click here.