COVID-19 prophylaxis using TDF/FTC and low-dose hydroxychloroquine in Spanish health workers

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

A large randomised phase 3 placebo-controlled study in Spain is using the HIV PrEP combination TDF/FTC and low-dose hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as prophylaxis for COVID-19 in health workers. [1]

Although in-vitro data support potential antiviral activity of TDF/FTC against CoV-2, the rationale was also driven by anecdotal reports of fewer cases of severe COVID-19 in Spain in HIV positive people on ART.

The study plans to enroll 4000 participants who will be randomised to one of three active arms or an inactive placebo group. The active arms are TDF/FTC, hydroxychloroquine (200 mg daily) and a dual combination of TDF/FTC plus HCQ.

The study is due to start in April 2020 and will run until July.


The decision to investigate TDF/FTC for PrEP does not mean that there this will be effective. 

Also, some HIV positive people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, even though they are taking TDF/TFC-containing ART.

Reference Randomized clinical trial for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) in healthcare personnel (EPICOS).

Links to other websites are current at date of posting but not maintained.