Medications to prevent HIV not to interfere with hormones

Medications to prevent HIV not to interfere with hormones

One of the therapies that prevents HIV, made up of the drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine, has no significant interaction with the hormonal therapy that trans people receive to reaffirm their gender.

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego, analyzed the first (and most widely used) therapy for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in transsexual people, both men and women and also non-binary people, who were taking hormone therapy. This is reported by the specialized site NATAP (National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project).

An old concern

Remember that the drugs used to prevent HIV are some of those that are also used to treat the infection. In turn, older HIV treatments interfered with gender-affirming hormone treatments, so many transsexual people with HIV were forced to decide between one treatment and another.

Until now, however, not much has been studied about the possible interactions between PrEP and hormones. The researchers deduced that interference was unlikely, since both therapies are processed by different pathways in the body, but they preferred to prove it scientifically.

Satisfactory results

The study was presented last February, during the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), and included 88 transsexual and non-binary people, who in turn participated in another larger study where they answered electronic questionnaires about their adherence to PrEP.

The average age of the people was 32.7, and 31% of participants were Latin American originated. The population was divided into two groups: one of transsexual women and non-binary people taking feminizing hormones, and one of transsexual men and non-binary people taking masculinizing hormones.

In the first group (composed of 49 people), the concentration of the hormone estradiol did not vary significantly in the 12 weeks of the study. In the second group (39 people), the hormone testosterone did not vary significantly at the same period.

After 12 weeks, the level of PrEP in the body of people taking hormones was compared to those without taking them, and no significant variations were found in either group.

These findings take another nuance after, a few weeks ago, another investigation revealed that transsexual women have 66 times more risk of acquiring HIV than the general population, while transsexual men have 7 times more risk than an average person. .

Remember that at AHF Latin America and the Caribbean we have spaces free of discrimination, whatever your gender identity. If you want to take a free HIV test or are looking for information on how to start or resume your antiretroviral treatment, we can help you. Find our nearest office in your country or write to us on Whatsapp.