InterPrEP. Internet-based pre-exposure prophylaxis with generic tenofovir DF and emtricitabine in London: an analysis of outcomes in 641 patients
AbstractIntroduction: HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is not available on the National Health Service (NHS) in England. People are buying generic versions of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF)/emtricitabine (FTC) on the internet, which is legal under UK import laws. Methods: HIV-negative individuals attending our clinic who reported purchasing generic PrEP online were provided with risk-reduction advice and were evaluated for HIV, hepatitis B and C, renal function and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)on their first visit. They were offered regular follow-up visits every 3 months and given risk-reduction advice. Plasma therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) for tenofovir and FTC was also offered. Results: 641 individuals accessed the service during 2016–2017. Median time on generic PrEP was 202 days. All were MSM, 81% were white, 75% used PrEP daily and 14% on an event-driven basis, and 67% were on generic TDF/FTC manufactured by Cipla Ltd. There were no serious adverse events. Thirty-nine percent of individuals (191/494) reported using recreational drugs in the 12 months before starting PrEP, and 29% (127/443) reported this while taking PrEP. During follow-up, 26% (142/552) of individuals were diagnosed with an STI at one or more follow-up visits. In 336 person-years of follow-up, there were no cases of HIV infection (0%, 95% CI 0%–1.1%). There were no new cases of hepatitis B and two new cases of hepatitis C. Discussion: There were no new cases of HIV in 641 individuals using generic PrEP. At the same centre, new HIV diagnoses fell from 69 per month in October 2015 to 15 per month in June 2017. We believe that our support for individuals taking generic PrEP has contributed to this fall. There was a 10% increase in STI diagnoses during PrEP compared to baseline. Strategies to reduce STIs remain crucial.