Of course, antiretrovirals aren't just about HIV prevention: Believe it or not, they're still about treatment, too. As a kindler, gentler version of tenofovir -- tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) -- increasingly replaces its forebear -- tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) -- a question has lingered as to whether the new drug would share a unique side benefit of the old: an ability to treat hepatitis B (HBV), a commonly occurring HIV coinfection. In fact, TDF-based regimens are widely recommended for the treatment of HIV/HBV coinfection.
As Joel Gallant, M.D., M.P.H., attests in the quote to the left, TAF is indeed an effective HBV fighter. Gallant is the primary author of an open-label study published in JAIDS earlier this year in which coinfected patients were switched from their existing regimen to the single-tablet regimen of elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/TAF (E/C/F/TAF for short, more efficiently known by the brand name Genvoya). Forty-eight weeks after the switch, 92% of the 72 volunteers had either maintained their existing virologic suppression or achieved it anew. Improvements were also seen in renal function and bone turnover markers.