Low Risk of Proximal Tubular Dysfunction Associated With Emtricitabine-Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate Preexposure Prophylaxis in Men and Women

J Infect Dis. 2016 Oct 1;214(7):1050-7. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiw125. Epub 2016 Mar 29.


Objective: Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) is associated with proximal tubular dysfunction (tubulopathy) when used in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. We evaluated whether TDF causes tubulopathy when used as HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and whether tubulopathy predicts clinically relevant decline (≥25%) in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).

Methods: A subgroup analysis of the Partners PrEP Study, a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of daily oral TDF, alone or with emtricitabine (FTC), in HIV-uninfected African men and women (Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00557245). Tubulopathy was assessed in concurrently obtained urine and serum samples at the 24-month or last on-treatment visit, predefined as ≥2 of the following: tubular proteinuria, euglycemic glycosuria, increased urinary phosphate, and uric acid excretion.

Results: Of 1549 persons studied (776 receiving FTC-TDF, 773 receiving placebo), 64% were male, and the median age was 37 years. Over a median 24 months of study-drug exposure, the frequency of tubulopathy was 1.7% for FTC-TDF versus 1.3% for placebo (odds ratio, 1.30; 95% confidence interval, .52-3.33; P = .68); Tubulopathy occurred in 2 of 52 persons (3.8%) with versus 3 of 208 (1.4%) without ≥25% eGFR decline (adjusted odds ratio, 1.39; .10-14.0; P > .99).

Conclusions: Daily oral FTC-TDF PrEP was not significantly associated with tubulopathy over the course of 24 months, nor did tubulopathy predict clinically relevant eGFR decline.

Keywords: PrEP; TDF nephrotoxicity; TDF toxicity; proximal tubular dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-HIV Agents / adverse effects*
  • Chemoprevention / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos / administration & dosage
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis / methods*
  • Renal Insufficiency / chemically induced*
  • Tenofovir / administration & dosage
  • Tenofovir / adverse effects*
  • Urinalysis
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Placebos
  • Tenofovir

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00557245