Blood, Hair, or Urine? Weighing PrEP Adherence Options Beyond Self-Report
Since 2014 we operated an online support platform and we encourage beneficiaries to reach out to us via Onlinetraumasupport/. All our articles are prompted from the questions asked during the sessions we have with our beneficiaries.
We receive questions about different issues in life. We deal with beneficiaries who come to us with many needs. A question on why heath workers ask for various samples from a person has been posed many times. Health workers may ask for urine, hair or blood to verify levels of medication in one's body to ascertain adherence. We hope you get more information in this article by Stephen Hicks titled "Blood, Hair, or Urine? Weighing PrEP Adherence Options Beyond Self-Report." Enjoy!
Public awareness campaigns for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) have been on the upswing; the first television ad for the drug has recently appeared. But whether people who are HIV negative will take a daily pill when they're not sick has been widely debated. Furthermore, whether a lack of adherence will create increased levels of emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada)-resistant strains of HIV remains a major concern cited by PrEP skeptics when discussing potential harms (claims so far unproven). Nevertheless, understanding whether a person with a PrEP prescription is actually using the medication is something a provider may want to know. Currently, a few measures determine adherence to PrEP: self-report, hair, dried blood spot, and urine analysis. As of now, no one guideline or definitive standard is being used.
Clinicians and researchers presented their recent findings at the 13th Annual Adherence Conference last month in Miami. Two sessions highlighted innovative ways to measure PrEP adherence.
K. Rivet Amico, Ph.D., associate professor of public health with the University of Michigan, discussed what to examine when adherence metrics are used. "I do think costs and burden to the participant/person providing the sample and to the teams [or] clinics running them are the main considerations when selecting what to do," Amico said.
"Many providers simply ask their patients on PrEP whether they're taking the medication as prescribed. Self-report is considered a subjective measure as it relies on the patient for disclosure of intake, as well as the sharing of potential risk factors. Meanwhile, hair, dried blood spot, and urine analysis are methods that can also be used by a provider to determine PrEP adherence," continued Amico.