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Feasibility of vitamin D supplementation interventions to mitigate HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis-related bone mineral density loss: a cross-sectional survey

Authors Wang S, Kortenaar JL, Hull MW, Arbess G, Owen JRM, Tan DHS

Received 10 July 2018

Accepted for publication 16 September 2018

Published 16 October 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 2197—2204


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Shaoyuan Wang,1 Jean-Luc Kortenaar,1,2 Mark W Hull,3 Gordon Arbess,4 James RM Owen,4 Darrell HS Tan1,5,6

1Division of Infectious Diseases, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada; 2Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; 3Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; 4Department of Family and Community Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada; 5Centre for Urban Health Solutions, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada; 6Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Background: Daily tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF)/emtricitabine as HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) causes subclinical decreases in bone mineral density (BMD). We surveyed PrEP users to assess feasibility for a clinical trial of vitamin D supplementation to mitigate TDF-induced BMD loss.
Methods: We recruited participants using or starting PrEP in Toronto and Vancouver. The primary objective was to assess the acceptability of daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation. We also assessed the acceptability of calcium supplementation, existing use of non-pharmacological bone health interventions, prevalence of osteoporosis risk factors, and bone health knowledge (Osteoporosis Knowledge Test, OKT).
Results: Of 161 participants, 72.1% were current PrEP users, 18.0% were starting PrEP, and 9.9% did not indicate their PrEP status. All identified as males, 88.8% as gays, and 67.1% as Whites. Median (IQR) age was 32.0 (29.0, 40.0) years, and 62.1% reported family income ≥$60,000/year. Among those not already using the interventions, willingness to supplement with daily vitamin D, weekly vitamin D, or daily calcium was very high at 90.9%, 96.4%, and 93.0 %, respectively. Only 31.0% reported adequate dietary calcium intake, while 42.9% reported ≥1 osteoporosis risk factor (most commonly, alcohol and smoking). Overall bone health knowledge was low, as median (IQR) OKT score was 16/32. In post hoc comparisons, current PrEP users may have been more likely than new PrEP users to engage in bone loading exercise (Bone-specific Physical Activity Questionnaire score=12.5 vs 3.6, P=0.001) and have greater bone health knowledge (OKT=17 vs 14, P=0.08), but they had similar levels of current vitamin D supplementation (37.4% vs 21.4%, P=0.11), calcium supplementation (11.2% vs 13.8%, P=0.70), and adequate dietary calcium intake (32.7% vs 25.0%, P=0.43).
Discussion: The high acceptability of vitamin D and calcium supplementation in this cohort suggests that enrollment into a clinical trial of such interventions to mitigate PrEP-induced BMD loss is feasible.

Keywords: HIV, pre-exposure prophylaxis, vitamin D, calcium, bone and bones, bone density

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