PrEP for Pregnant Women?
The ridiculousness continues
This will be a short one, but I think it’s important to address.
I don’t know about other moms reading this, but when I was pregnant, I was discouraged from taking anything stronger than Tylenol, and that only very occasionally. All of a sudden antiretrovirals for HIV antibody negative mothers (to “treat” a condition that they don’t even have) are just fine?
Children whose mothers used tenofovir-based pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) during pregnancy did not have reduced bone density or stunted growth compared with unexposed infants, according to study findings presented at the International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science (#IAS2023).
A majority of the children (60%) were boys, and the median age at the time of the scans was 36.7 months. In utero exposure was defined as any PrEP prescription during pregnancy and mothers’ self-reported use. In practice they received oral TDF, not the newer tenofovir alafenamide (a component of Descovy), which is easier on kidneys and bones, or injectable cabotegravir (Apretude). Just over half started PrEP during the second trimester, 43% during the third trimester and only 5% during the first trimester. The mothers used PrEP for a median of 12 weeks and a maximum of 17 weeks during pregnancy.
It looks like these moms and babies got “bad Truvada.” (What evidence is there that “good Truvada” (TAF) is easier on kidneys and bones? I’m waiting. Oh and it looks like you’re admitting that Truvada is toxic.)
A glance at the Wikipedia page for tenofovir raises some concerns, as well (emphasis mine).
Tenofovir disoproxil is generally well tolerated with low discontinuation rates among the HIV and chronic hepatitis B population. There are no contraindications for use of this drug. The most commonly reported side effects due to use of tenofovir disoproxil were dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea.Other adverse effects include depression, sleep disturbances, headache, itching, rash, and fever. The US boxed warningcautions potential onset of lactic acidosis or liver damage due to use of tenofovir disoproxil.
Long term use of tenofovir disoproxil is associated with nephrotoxicity and bone loss. Presentation of nephrotoxicity can appear as Fanconi syndrome, acute kidney injury, or decline of glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Discontinuation of tenofovir disoproxil can potentially lead to reversal of renal impairment. Nephrotoxicity may be due to proximal tubules accumulation of Tenofovir disoproxil leading to elevated serum concentrations.
And furthermore (emphasis mine):
Tenofovir can be used for HIV prevention in people who are at high risk for infection through sexual transmission or injecting drug use. A Cochrane review examined the use of tenofovir for prevention of HIV before exposureand found that both tenofovir alone and the tenofovir/emtricitabine combination decreased the risk of contracting HIV for high risk patients. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also conducted a study in partnership with the Thailand Ministry of Public Health to ascertain the effectiveness of providing people who inject drugs illicitly with daily doses of tenofovir as a prevention measure. The results revealed a 48.9% reduced incidence of the virus among the group of subjects who received the drug in comparison to the control group who received a placebo.
48.9%. Not “>99%” as constantly advertised. Not even close. (Yes, I know this study involved injecting drug users, but studies of PrEP efficacy at preventing sexual transmission show similar results.) Why do the media and the CDC repeat this figure over and over like it’s gospel, despite not a whisper of evidence to support it in the medical literature?
Luckily, these babies have a limited exposure to this drug, but can we really be sure of its safety profile into childhood and further? It is one thing to argue that medicating pregnant women who test HIV antibody positive is a good thing, although the Perth Group’s analysis of the persistence of maternal antibodies in children as old as 30 months does call into question what these antibodies even represent. (Please watch it. It’s extremely important.) But to expose unborn babies to a medication used to treat a condition the mother doesn’t even show a hint of having is yet more evidence that the HIV zealots have jumped the shark once again.
What do you think of PrEP for pregnant women? Is it ever a good idea?
In The Real AIDS Epidemic, I present an analysis of data that falsifies the HIV/AIDS hypothesis and warn about the toxic drugs being given to people in the name of that falsified HIV/AIDS hypothesis. In the afterword, I offer constructive suggestions for a paradigm shift in AIDS research and treatment that emphasizes the recognition of the massive non-HIV AIDS epidemic in the general population.
Originally published on the author’s Substack.
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