Truvada® is a pill made up of two HIV medications – Viread (tenofivir disoproxil fumarate) and Emtriva (emtricitabine). Currently, it is used together with other medications to treat HIV infection and hepatitis B. It is also approved by the FDA for preventing HIV infection.
What are the side effects?
Truvada® is usually well tolerated, but short-term side effects that were seen in PrEP studies included headaches, weight loss, nausea, diarrhea and stomach pain. No significant, long-term health effects have been seen in HIV-negative people who have taken PrEP for up to 5 years. However, it is known that Truvada® can cause bone loss and damage the kidneys in some people. Those who use PrEP need to be monitored closely.
When is PrEP right for you?
If you’re HIV-negative and are trying to stay that way, PrEP might be right for you. Here are some questions for you to consider:
- Is your main sexual partner HIV-positive?
- Has a man – especially an HIV-positive man or a man whose HIV status you are not sure about – penetrated you during vaginal or anal sex recently, without a condom?
- Have you been treated recently for a sexually transmitted infection?
- Do you or your sex partner(s) use alcohol and/or drugs heavily?
- Do you or your sex partners(s) exchange sex for money, housing or other needs?