Nav: Home

PrEP is not linked to greater risk for depression

June 19, 2015

A new paper out of the iPrEx study--a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of daily oral HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in men and transgender women who have sex with men--reported no link between taking Truvada for oral PrEP and experiencing depression.

During the iPrEx study, depression was the most frequently reported adverse event. As the use of Truvada for HIV prevention increases, it is important to understand the impact of PrEP on depression and whether depression can hinder PrEP.

"We've shown Truvada to be safe and effective for HIV prevention," says senior author Robert Grant, MD, MPH, a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes. "Because previous studies suggested a link between certain antiretroviral therapies and depression, we wanted to explore whether or not there was an increased risk for psychosocial health problems associated with PrEP."

The current study, published in AIDS and Behavior, systematically examined whether there was a causative link between Truvada and depression. Comparing scores on a depression and a suicidal ideation scale administered during the study, the researchers found there was no difference in depression or suicidality between participants who received Truvada or placebo. There was also no difference in the number of depression-related adverse events between the two study groups. In addition, there was no evidence that PrEP was less efficacious in depressed participants.

However, half of all participants in the iPrEx study, regardless of the study arm they were in, reported depression scores over the threshold for clinically significant depression. It is well documented that rates of depression are substantially higher among gay men and transgender women who have sex with men.

"Depressive symptoms are associated with sexual practices that increase risk for HIV acquisition," said first author Patricia Defechereux, PhD, a senior research associate at the Gladstone Institutes. "The additional protection conferred by PrEP during episodes of depression could avert infections during these especially vulnerable times."
-end-
Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, Fenway Community Health, Investigaciones Medicas en Salud, University of Michigan, Desmund Tutu HIV Foundation, Fundacion Ecuatoriana Equidad, University of Sao Paulo, and National Institutes of Health also took part in this research. Funding was provided by the Division of Acquired Immunodeficiency Diseases, National Institutes of Health, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Study drugs were donated by Gilead Sciences.

About the Gladstone Institutes

To ensure our work does the greatest good, the Gladstone Institutes focuses on conditions with profound medical, economic, and social impact--unsolved diseases of the brain, the heart, and the immune system. Affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco, Gladstone is an independent, nonprofit life science research organization that uses visionary science and technology to overcome disease.

Gladstone Institutes

Related Depression Articles:

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.
Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.
Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.
Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.
Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.
CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Post-natal depression in dads linked to depression in their teenage daughters
Fathers as well as mothers can experience post-natal depression -- and it is linked to emotional problems for their teenage daughters, new research has found.
Being overweight likely to cause depression, even without health complications
A largescale genomic analysis has found the strongest evidence yet that being overweight causes depression, even in the absence of other health problems.
Don't let depression keep you from exercising
Exercise may be just as crucial to a depression patient's good health as finding an effective antidepressant.
Having an abortion does not lead to depression
Having an abortion does not increase a woman's risk for depression, according to a new University of Maryland School of Public Health-led study of nearly 400,000 women.
More Depression News and Depression Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.