Drugs & Aging

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 485–491 | Cite as

Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Infection in the Older Patient: What can be Recommended?

  • Iacopo Franconi
  • Giovanni Guaraldi
Therapy in Practice


Over the past 15 years, a significant increase in new HIV/AIDS diagnoses has been observed in the elderly population. This new epidemiological shift has been attributed to a longer sex life, lifestyle and changes in sexual behavior, poor sexual health education, and misconceptions about the absence of sexually transmitted disease in later life. Although many biomedical and behavioral interventions have proven useful to prevent sexually transmitted infections and HIV, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been shown to be the most successful biomedical intervention to prevent HIV in high-risk individuals. This approach is based on delivering a fixed dose of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (300 mg), alone or combined with emtricitabine (300/200 mg) daily or on demand, before and after sexual intercourse. Despite the consistent number of clinical trials proving the effectiveness and safety of this strategy, no studies have focused specifically on elderly people. These individuals, who may benefit substantially from (PrEP), are at a higher risk of experiencing side effects secondary to tenofovir exposure. This review critically discusses the efficacy and safety of PrEP in people aged over 50 years and translates the knowledge of tenofovir management in patients with HIV into monitoring and stopping rules to be used in this special population. We provide practical recommendations to properly identify PrEP candidates among older adults. Furthermore, we define correct case management before and during PrEP  delivery, and we suggest stopping rules and alternative sexually transmitted infection prevention strategies.



Both authors are responsible for the intellectual content, critical revisions, and approval of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


No funding was received for the preparation of this article.

Conflict of interest

Giovanni Guaraldi and Iacopo Franconi have no conflicts of interest directly relevant to the content of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Infectious Disease UnitUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly

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