Safety of oral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate-based pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention


INTRODUCTION: Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF)-based pre-exposure prophylaxis is a novel HIV prevention strategy for individuals at increased sexual risk for HIV infection. For any biomedical prevention intervention, the bar for tolerating adverse effects in healthy persons is high compared to therapeutic interventions. AREAS COVERED: We provide a concise summary of the clinical safety of TDF-based pre-exposure prophylaxis with focus on TDF-related effects on tolerability, kidney function, bone density, HIV resistance, sexual and reproductive health. The evidence base for this review is derived from a literature search of both randomized and observational studies evaluating efficacy and safety of TDF-based PrEP, TDF alone or in combination with emtricitabine, identified from PUBMED and EMBASE electronic databases, and major HIV conferences. EXPERT OPINION: TDF-based pre-exposure prophylaxis is a potent intervention against HIV acquisition when taken which is generally safe and well tolerated. The risk of the small, non-progressive, and reversible decline in glomerular filtration rate and bone mineral density as well as the potential selection for drug resistance associated with PrEP are outweighed, at the population level and broadly for individuals, by PrEP’s substantial reduction in the risk of HIV infection.


Mugwanya KK, Baeten JM.




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


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