The Austin Chronicle

Truvada & PrEP Facts

September 5, 2014, Arts

• Truvada blocks reverse transcriptase, an enzyme necessary for the virus' reproduction in immune cells.

• PrEP reduces infection rates in gay/bisexual men, transgender women, and heterosexual couples, as well as intravenous drug users.

• People starting or maintaining a PrEP regimen still need to get tested regularly.

• Taken daily as recommended, PrEP is more than 99% effective.

• Side effects are rare, and disappear over time or when the medication is stopped.

• To date, no insurance company or Medicaid program is known to have outright denied coverage of Truvada as PrEP.

• The CDC recommends PrEP with the use of condoms for protection against other STIs.

• A "morning after" version, known as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is also available, and involves a 28-day protocol begun within 72 hours of exposure. This protocol has serious side effects, and its effectiveness varies. PEP is recommended for workplace accidents, sexual assault, or in cases of consensual contact or needle-sharing when the person knows their partner has HIV.

Source: Gilead and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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