HEALIO.com suggests that adolescent boys and young men who take HIV prevention drugs called PrEP are at an elevated risk for experiencing severe bone density loss. PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis medications are prescribed by doctors to young adult males who have sex with other males to prevent contracting HIV. However, adolescent males between the ages of 15 and 19 are still experiencing bone growth, which lasts until their early to mid-twenties, while taking PrEP drugs and can suffer severe consequences even if they stop using the PrEP drugs.
Doctors recently discovered the PrEP drugs have severe side effects that enhance bone density loss in young men. Many young men tested for bone density loss regained most of the density back with 48 weeks after stopping the PrEP treatments, some did not.
Bones become their most dense in a man’s early to mid-twenties. Doctors say that maximum bone density at an early age is a good predictor of bone strength as the male ages. Low bone density as a young person can lead to bone fractures later in life.
Researchers tracked teenagers who took PrEP drugs and tested their bone density. The researchers found that teens in the 15 to 19 bracket did not regain as much bone mass after stopping the regimen as they had before taking the medication. By contrast, males approximately 20 to 22 years of age fared much better and regained all of their bone density strength after stopping the medication.
Researchers are dismayed by the results. They see the obvious benefit to doctors prescribing drugs that can prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS. However, they understand that growing strong, dense bones, is important to leading a healthy life in later years. Doctors must find a method of countenancing the benefits of taking PrEP drugs versus the potential risks.
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