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.
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%.
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.
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.
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%.