Roughly five years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Truvada (aka PrEP, which is short for pre-exposure prophylaxis) for use as HIV prevention. Initially, health organizations believed this once-a-day pill would revolutionize HIV prevention methods in America. However, there are still many people who don’t know that Truvada exists, or the benefits of it.

If you’re interested in taking Truvada as PrEP, or simply want to learn more about it, we’ve compiled a few things you may not have known about the drug.

 

  1. It’s the first drug to be approved by the FDA to prevent the transmission of HIV.

In 2012, the FDA approved Truvada as PrEP, the first prescription drug to prevent HIV among those at high risk of infection. The day it was approved, FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg said in a press release, "Today's approval marks an important milestone in our fight against HIV. Every year, about 50,000 U.S. adults and adolescents are diagnosed with HIV infection, despite the availability of prevention methods and strategies to educate, test and care for people living with the disease. New treatments, as well as prevention methods, are needed to fight the HIV epidemic in this country."

 

  1. Truvada is more than 92 percent effective at preventing the spread of HIV, when used properly.

Truvada is intended to be taken daily and in conjunction with other safe-sex practices. When used correctly, Truvada has been shown to be between 92 and 98 percent effective.

 

  1. Truvada does not cure HIV.

Truvada is HIV medication that is taken daily by people who are HIV-negative and who are at a higher risk of infection, such as those in a relationship with an HIV-positive partner, someone who has multiple sexual partners, or gay and bisexual men. If a healthy person, who takes Truvada daily, is exposed to HIV, the drug will prevent the virus from multiplying within their body by blocking the active enzyme in HIV that’s needed to replicate the virus. It cannot, however, cure a person who has already been infected, but it is an HIV medication taken by HIV-positive individuals, as well.

 

  1. Truvada is meant to be used in conjunction with condoms and other safe sex measures.

Truvada’s FDA approval has been met with some criticism, as some believe it will encourage users to stop practicing safe sex or getting regular STI tests. However, the FDA, and many advocates of the drug, have continuously expressed that Truvada is meant to be used in addition to existing safe sex methods.

 

If you are interested in starting PrEP, are unsure of how to use it properly, or are wondering if you’re a good candidate for PrEP, schedule a PrEP consultation today at CIRCLE CARE Center.