The sixth case of a man acquiring HIV while adhering to PrEP has been confirmed by healthcare experts over the weekend. He is thought to be the first man in California, and third man in the U.S. to contract HIV will taking Truvada as directed.
The unlikely case was presented this past weekend at the annual IDWeek conference in San Francisco, which is run by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
The unnamed man started taking PrEP in late 2016 and was HIV negative when tested the next three times at three, six, and ten months. Blood tests confirmed at this point that he had been adhering to the medication.
But slightly over a year after starting PrEP, he tested HIV positive. Immediately, he was placed on the appropriate medication; since then, his viral load has consistently remained suppressed.
The patient had been growing out his hair long which, allowed doctors to test his adherence to PrEP over time. Dr. Robert Grant of the University of California San Francisco said, “[The patient’s] long hair allowed us to test by centimeters, which allowed us to go back and read drug levels from six months ago.”
The strain of HIV he acquired was identified with people who previously took HIV meds, but no longer do. Then it came to light that his main partner, who is HIV positive, had gone off his HIV medication. His partner was tested to have the same strain and has since resumed taking medication.
Despite this being the sixth case of a man contracting HIV while on PrEP, experts and medical professionals still firmly believe that PrEP is more effective than solely wearing condoms.