PrEP Raises Questions Regarding 'Risk Disinhibition' And Drug Resistance

Nature News reports on “the possibility of unintended public-health consequences” of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV and pharmaceutical company Gilead’s plan to ask the FDA to evaluate its combination antiretroviral (ARV) drug Truvada for use in healthy people.

Healthy “people taking the drugs may adopt riskier behaviors because they feel protected – a phenomenon known as ‘risk disinhibition’ – undermining the benefit of the drugs and potentially infecting others,” and possibly leading to drug-resistant HIV strains, the news service writes. “[A]sking the FDA to evaluate questions about risk disinhibition and drug resistance might push the agency into uncharted territory,” according to Nature News. The news service adds that “[t]he question of who should get PrEP is more difficult in many developing nations, which cannot even afford to treat everyone currently infected with HIV” (Hayden, 8/16).