Researchers from the on-going French IPERGAY study previously revealed that intermittent pre-exposure prophylaxis use is still effective in preventing HIV. Now they've demonstrated, at this year’s Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, that condom use among participants declined while they were taking PrEP.
Luis Sagaon Teyssier and his colleagues broke the 332 study participants into four different groups: those who had consistent/high PrEP but low condom adherence (54 percent); those who had high PrEP and condom adherence (23.5 percent); those who had low PrEP but high condom adherence (6.5 percent); and those who had low PrEP and condom adherence (16 percent). This indicates that a majority of participants used PrEP as a means of preventing HIV infection, although only a smaller subset combined PrEP use with condoms. The numbers also suggest the need to focus on the 16 percent of participants who used neither PrEP nor condoms, to understand — and overcome — their resistance to prevention efforts.
PrEP alone (when not combined with condoms) has been shown to effectively prevent HIV transmission among serodiscordant couples. However, many health practitioners still advocate the use of condoms as a secondary level of protection, as well as to prevent the spread of other STIs.