The results of Phase I of the ANRS IPERGAY trial (CTN 268) are very promising, showing that taking Truvada ‘on-demand’ reduced risk of HIV infection by 86 per cent among men who have sex with men (MSM).

The ANRS IPERGAY (CTN 268) pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP) study made waves at the 22nd Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2015) in Seattle.

The results of Phase I of the IPERGAY trial were reported by principal investigator Dr. Jean-Michel Molina and showed that taking Truvada ‘on-demand’ reduced risk of HIV infection by 86 per cent among men who have sex with men (MSM). Several other studies also reported similar results at CROI 2015, however, unlike the other studies that tested the daily use of PrEP, ANRS IPERGAY tested the intermittent or ‘on demand’ use of Truvada.

“This study extends the versatility of pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP for real-world conditions and adds another prevention tool along with counseling and condoms,” says Dr. Cécile Tremblay (Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM)), the Canadian principal investigator of the study.

Participants randomized to the treatment arm took two pills in the 24-hour period before anticipated sexual intercourse and two separate one-pill doses in the two days following sex.

“Health Canada has approved Truvada for the treatment of people living with HIV but it has not been approved for use in prevention,” says Dr. Tremblay. “We hope that the results of the ANRS IPERGAY trial and other similar trials will begin to change this.”

The IPERGAY trial was run by the French national AIDS research institute, ANRS, and began in France in February 2012. The CTN joined as a Canadian site in 2013. In Canada, the study recruited 53 Montreal MSM into Phase I of the randomized study; 414 men participated in total. The study will continue with open-label ‘on-demand’ Truvada for at least one more year, to ensure the continued long-term benefit and safety of ‘on demand’ PrEP.

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