Safety of oral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate-based HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis use in lactating HIV-uninfected women


INTRODUCTION: In settings where HIV is prevalent in heterosexual populations, pregnancy and postpartum breastfeeding periods can be associated with substantial HIV acquisition risk. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with daily oral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF)/emtricitabine is an attractive HIV prevention option for women who are lactating but data are limited on its safety during the lactation period. Areas covered: We provide a concise synthesis and summary of current evidence on the safety of TDF-based PrEP during breastfeeding. We conducted a review, searching Pubmed database and major PrEP conferences for primary studies with TDF-based PrEP exposure during postpartum breastfeeding. Expert opinion: TDF-based oral PrEP is an effective female-controlled HIV prevention option. There is evidence supporting the safety of TDF use for infant outcomes during breastfeeding in antiretroviral treatment regimens for HIV and hepatitis B virus, and more limited, but consistently safe, data from use of TDF as PrEP. The potential for risk is arguably outweighed for at-risk individuals by HIV prevention benefits, including indirect protection to the infant as a result of preventing HIV in the breastfeeding mother. As PrEP delivery is scaled up in heterosexual populations in high HIV prevalence settings and for at-risk persons in other settings, implementation science studies can provide a framework to increase the accrual of safety, acceptability, and use data related to PrEP during lactation


Mugwanya KK, John-Stewart G, Baeten J




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions


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