Truvada – What Is It Used For and Who Should Take It

Written by Phil Rossi

NowRx Pharmacy

Truvada – What Is It Used For and Who Should Take It Blog Image

Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir) for PrEP is a medication for preventing HIV.

It was approved for medical use in the United States in 2004 and is on the  World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines.

Although it cannot cure HIV/AIDS, Truvada is a highly effective prevention tool that greatly reduces the risk of getting HIV through sex.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the HIV prevention medication.

What Is Truvada?

Truvada for PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis) is a once daily prescription medication that reduces the risk of getting HIV through sex. It combines two medicines (emtricitabine and tenofovir) into a single pill.

It does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections and it is not a cure for HIV.

However, when taken properly it is highly effective at preventing HIV, although that effectiveness is dependent on adherence.

For example, when taken daily and as prescribed Truvada will provide up to 99% protection against HIV. Yet, for people that only take PrEP every other day that protection can drop as low as 75%.

What Is Truvada Used For?

Truvada is used for HIV PrEP or pre exposure prophylaxis.

That is a fancy way of saying, it prevents infection before coming into contact with it.

This is similar to how anti-malaria medication works. We take it before traveling to areas that might have malaria. Then if we get bit by a mosquito carrying malaria we are less likely to get sick.

Although, it may be used in combination with other drugs to treat HIV, it is more effective as a prevention tool.

How Does Truvada Work?

Truvada works proactively opposed to reactively.

In other words, individuals take the medication before the infection has entered the body opposed to after.

This prevents the infection from taking hold in your body.

How does that work?

Truvada works by blocking an enzyme called HIV reverse transcriptase.

Reverse transcriptase is an enzyme that converts RNA into viral DNA through a process called reverse transcription. In other words, the enzyme enables the virus to make copies of itself and release more HIV into the blood.

As a result, by blocking this enzyme Truvada is able to prevent HIV from spreading throughout the body.

Who Makes Truvada?

Truvada is manufactured by Gilead Sciences, an American pharmaceutical company.

The company is based out of Foster City, CA.

Their focus since the early 2000’s has been researching and developing antiviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Influenza.

As of 2020, the company was one of the largest biotech firms in the world with a market cap of over $17B.

Who Should Take Truvada?

Truvada is for people who do not have HIV but are at very high risk of getting HIV. You must weigh at least 77 pounds and be HIV negative to take the medication.

You should strongly consider it if you have had anal or vaginal sex in the past 6 months and you:

  • Have multiple sexual partners or a partner that has multiple partners
  • Have a sexual partner with HIV
  • Had an STD in the last 6 months
  • Do not consistently use a condom when having anal sex or with people who inject drugs

Talk with your healthcare provider or contact us at to learn more about whether Truvada is right for you.

How Much Is Truvada?

In the past, cost was one of the biggest barriers to using the HIV prevention drug.

In fact, a single 30 day prescription might cost over $1400 even with insurance!

However, with options like NowPrEP Telehealth individuals can now have easy access to affordable Truvada medication.

Medication and delivery are free for 99% of patients but best of all you never have to leave the privacy of your own home to get started.

To see if you qualify, just visit the NowPrEP Telehealth Website or send us an email at and we will be happy to help!

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