Truvada, the name brand for PrEP, is a pre-exposure prophylactic medication designed to lower your risk of getting HIV. It works along with condom use and safe sexual behaviors to provide you with additional protection against sexually transmitted HIV. It does not protect against getting the virus from body fluids, such as during oral sex — hence, why it’s important to still use condoms during sexual activity.
Men and women who are HIV-negative, weigh at least 77 pounds, and are at risk of contracting HIV (e.g., whose sexual partners are HIV-positive) should take Truvada. When Nurx™ sends you your at-home testing kit, you’ll find a test for HIV as well as other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This is because men and women at risk of getting HIV also tend to be at higher risk of contracting other STIs. You don’t have to be STI-negative to take Truvada, but you should get any infections treated right away.
How to Take Truvada
After confirming your HIV-negative status, your healthcare provider will write you a prescription for Truvada. You take the medication once daily, with or without food. You must take the pill at the same time each day for it to be effective. To make sure you stay protected, never skip a pill, and always refill the prescription before you run out.
How Long Can You Take Truvada?
You take Truvada for three months at a time. After three months, you must take an HIV test to make sure you’re still negative before your medical provider can refill your prescription for another three months.
Truvada is not intended for lifetime use. You and your medical team can discuss whether continuing PrEP is the right decision for you. Never stop taking Truvada without first speaking with your healthcare provider. If you know you’ve been exposed to HIV, continue taking the medication for at least 28 days.