Twenty-five years into the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, infection rates remain alarmingly high, with over 4 million people becoming infected every year. There is a need for HIV prevention strategies that are more effective. Oral antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in high-risk individuals may be a reliable tool in preventing the transmission of HIV.
To evaluate the risk reduction and side effects of antiretroviral chemoprophylaxis in preventing HIV infection in high-risk individuals
We conducted electronic searches of MEDLINE (1980 through June 2008); the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (March 2008); EMBASE (June 2008); and AIDSearch (June 2008). We also searched the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform in June 2008 for ongoing or prospective trials.
Randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effects of any antiretroviral agent in preventing HIV infection in high-risk individuals
Data concerning outcomes, details of the interventions, and other study characteristics were extracted by two independent authors using a standardized data extraction form. The information gathered from each included trial were location of the trial, date, publication status, demographics of participants (e.g. age, gender, risk behaviour), exposure modality, type of antiretroviral drug used, duration of drug use, and outcomes. Relative risk with a 95% confidence interval (CI) was used as the measure of effect. Only one trial met our inclusion criteria, so we did not perform a meta-analysis.
One randomised controlled trial met the criteria for the review, although it was not completed as planned. The trial did not have the statistical power to answer questions about the efficacy of antiretroviral PrEP for HIV prevention in the assessed risk group.