Decline in Bone Mass With Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate/Emtricitabine Is Associated With Hormonal Changes in the Absence of Renal Impairment When Used by HIV-Uninfected Adolescent Boys and Young Men for HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis

Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Feb 1;64(3):317-325. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciw765. Epub 2016 Nov 15.


Background: We aimed to define the relative importance of renal and endocrine changes in tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF)-related bone toxicity.

Methods: In a study of daily TDF/emtricitabine (FTC) preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-uninfected young men who have sex with men, we measured changes from baseline in blood and urine markers of the parathyroid hormone (PTH)-vitamin D-fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) axis, creatinine, and renal tubular reabsorption of phosphate (TRP). We explored the relationship of those variables to changes in bone mineral density (BMD). Tenofovir-diphosphate (TFV-DP) in red blood cells was used to categorize participants into high and low drug exposure groups.

Results: There were 101 participants, median age 20 years (range 15 to 22). Compared with low drug exposure, high-exposure participants showed increase from baseline in PTH and decline in FGF23 by study week 4, with no differences in creatinine, phosphate, or TRP. At 48 weeks, the median (interquartile range) percent decline in total hip BMD was greater in those with high- compared to low- exposure (-1.59 [2.77] vs +1.54 [3.34] %, respectively; P = .001); in high-exposure participants, this correlated with week 4 TFV-DP (inversely; r = -0.60, P = .002) and FGF23 (directly; r = 0.42; P = .039) but not other variables.

Conclusions: These findings support the short-term renal safety of TDF/FTC PrEP in HIV-seronegative young men and suggest that endocrine disruption (PTH-FGF23) is a primary contributor to TDF-associated BMD decline in this age group.

Clinical trials registration: NCT01769469.

Keywords: HIV pre- exposure prophylaxis.; bone mineral density; fibroblast growth factor 23; parathyroid hormone; tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-HIV Agents / adverse effects*
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Emtricitabine / administration & dosage
  • Emtricitabine / adverse effects*
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / drug effects
  • HIV Infections / blood
  • HIV Infections / metabolism
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / urine
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Male
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Parathyroid Hormone / urine
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis*
  • Renal Insufficiency / chemically induced
  • Tenofovir / administration & dosage
  • Tenofovir / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • PTH protein, human
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Tenofovir
  • Creatinine
  • Emtricitabine

Associated data