If you take more than one dose of Descovy at a time, contact your health care provider immediately. If your health care provider isn’t available, call your poison control center or go to the emergency room for assistance right away.
Who Descovy is Right For
Descovy is PrEP designed for HIV negative at-risk adults and adolescents. It helps lower the chances of getting HIV through sex. Descovy is not currently approved for people assigned female at birth who are at risk of getting HIV from vaginal sex, as its effectiveness has not been studied.
Descovy is for at-risk adults and adolescents weighing at least 77 lbs (35 kg). Adolescent candidates for Descovy may benefit from additional counseling on the importance of taking their medication. Adolescents may benefit from more frequent testing while taking Descovy to ensure they are using the medication correctly.
Before Descovy is prescribed, you’ll need to be tested for HIV. You should also be tested for other STIs, hepatitis B (HBV), and other safety labs as recommended by your provider. You will also need to be evaluated by your provider every three months. If you have hepatitis B, do not stop taking Descovy without checking with your provide. For those with renal function issues, Descovy may increase the risk for renal impairment or renal failure.
A Call for Further Research
Truvada is the only approved PrEP for people born female who are at risk of acquiring HIV from receptive vaginal sex. Plans are underway for Gilead to begin studies of Descovy on 1,500 high-risk women in South Africa. Long-acting injectibles for PrEP are also being studied.
While advancements in PrEP development are promising, the cost of PrEP remains high. At the moment, there is generic equivalent to Truvada but not Descovy. Petitions have called for Gilead to lower prescription costs to make this life-saving drug available and affordable. If you’re eligible for Descovy, contact your Nurx™ medical provider so we can get you started with testing and payment assistance, or answer any questions you may have about Descovy.
Common Misconceptions About PrEP
Since there are currently only two FDA approved medications for PrEP, misconceptions about how Descovy works or how it protects may come up. We clear up four common misunderstandings about PrEP.
- PrEP is only used before sex. Descovy protects best when a consistent level of medication is in your system. Descovy is prescribed as a once-daily oral PrEP for the prevention of HIV. Commit to taking Descovy every day to ensure it protects you the way it is intended.
- You don’t need condoms. No medication is 100% effective and Descovy does not protect against STIs such as gonorrhea, syphilis, or chlamydia. It makes sense to use condoms every time you have sex to further your protection and reinforce your peace of mind.
- PrEP encourages promiscuity. In some cases, the LGBTQ community may face stigma around the use of PrEP such as suggestions the medication promotes irresponsibility. The reality is that Descovy is a safe-sex practice and the use of Descovy promotes and encourages other safe-sex practices.
- Side effects. For those worried about the side effects of Descovy, rest assured that very few side effects were reported during the DISCOVER study. In fact, less than 5% of study participants experienced common side effects such as headache, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, or stomach pain.
Common Misconceptions About Descovy
- Descovy is unaffordable. Although Descovy’s retail cost is high, the onset of patient assistance programs, discount coupons, and copay cards make Descovy an accessible and affordable PrEP.
- PrEP takes a long time to work: The fact is, taking your medication every day and getting tested regularly is the best way to ensure Descovy is working. PrEP has shown to be effective as soon as you start taking it, but consistency is what keeps you protected.
Nurx prescribes generic PrEP unless you have a medical reason why you must take Descovy.