Does PrEP Cause HIV Resistance?

Can PrEP Cause Resistant Strains Of HIV?

One question I am occassionally asked is:

I’m taking prep, does this mean that I won’t be able to be treated with the drugs in the future if I become HIV positive?

When somebody is taking PrEP, they must be HIV negative. PrEP is a prevention tool.

For HIV resistance to occur, a person has to already be infected with HIV. Therefore, as long as you are taking the your PrEP as directed, the chance of HIV infection is unlikely.

As long as you are HIV negative, resistance cannot occur.

If you stop taking prep and become infected with HIV in the future, you will still be able to be treated with the drugs found in Truvada. This is assuming that the strain of HIV you have been infected with can be treated with the drugs within Truvada.

If a person becomes infected with HIV while taking prep, there is a chance that resistance could develop. For this reason, it’s very important that you are getting a regular PrEP screening.

Here in Australia the recommendations are that you come in every three months for a full sexual health screening, including HIV.
If we notice anything unusual happening with the bloods at this time, we are able work out what has happened and then find your optimal treatment for HIV.