Truvada for PrEP®

Truvada is a daily medication prescribed to prevent HIV, it is:

  • 99% effective at reducing HIV risk
  • Free for over 90% of Canadians

What is Truvada for PrEP?

Truvada for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a daily pill prescribed to adults and adolescents at risk of contracting HIV. If taken correctly, Truvada lessens the chance of transmitting HIV during sex by more than 99%.

Truvada (or generic PrEP) is beneficial for anyone looking to reduce their risk of HIV, as well as it is recommended for those at higher risk of contracting HIV, including (but not limited to):

  • Men who have sex with men / transgender women and gender diverse people
  • Heterosexual women and men who have higher-risk exposure (such as having a partner with HIV, sex workers, or having sex with a person at higher risk for HIV)
  • People who use injection drugs

What are Truvada side effects?

Less than 10% of people experience side effects with Truvada for PrEP.

For those that do, symptoms only last a short while while their body gets used to the drug, and then they subside. While side effects are certainly a concern, regular check-ins with your clinician ensure that you do well on Truvada for PrEP and if you do experience side effects, they are managed.

Short term side effects can include nausea, headaches, diarrhea, and vomiting.

In a small number of people, PrEP has resulted in a decrease in kidney, liver, and bone health.
Descovy (99% effective as well) is an option for patients with pre-existing kidney, liver, or bone health issues.

If you’re experiencing persistent symptoms after a couple of weeks, contact your healthcare provider.

How much does Truvada cost?

Truvada has a generic option that is free or low cost for many Canadians.

Depending on the province you live in, the cost of a PrEP prescriptions may vary. At Freddie, 90% of our patients qualify for free or low cost PrEP (whether through their existing coverage, or through our financial assistance programs).

If you'd like see a breakdown of costs by province, visit our PrEP costs in Canada article, or complete our 1-min assessment to immediately know how much you'll be expected to pay (Freddie services are completely free of charge).

Freddie offers Truvada

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Truvada FAQs

How effective is Truvada for PrEP?

Truvada (and generic Truvada) is a highly effective HIV prevention drug. According to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), daily use of PrEP reduces your risk of getting HIV from sex by 99%.

How does Truvada work?

Daily (or on-demand) use of Truvada medication stops HIV in your bloodstream from replicating, eliminating the virus from your body when the original exposure amount dies. Essentially, Truvada works by ensuring HIV cannot replicate in your body and ensures you remain HIV negative.

Is Truvada (or generic PrEP) right for me?

It very well could be! PrEP (or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is for anyone looking to reduce their risk of getting HIV.
We recommend completing our 1-min PrEP assessment to help decide whether Truvada is right for you.

What is the difference between Truvada vs Descovy?

In Canada, there are three different forms of PrEP; Truvada PrEP, a generic PrEP, and Descovy PrEP.
The biggest differentiator is accessibility. While Truvada and Descovy are not covered by provincial insurance (and out-of-pocket costs are around $900/month), provincial plans completely cover, or subside the cost of generic Truvada.

Descovy for PrEP is similar to Truvada, in that they are both manufactured by Gilead Health. Descovy was created to combat the negative effects Truvada may have on kidney and bone health. This was achieved through the development of a new formulation of tenofovir called TAF (tenofovir alafenamide).

All three are equally effective at reducing risks of HIV transmission by 99%.