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Can Descovy be used for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in HIV?

Answers (1)

Official Answer by 5 May 2016

As of April 2016, Truvada is still the only FDA-approved pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) regimen.

PrEP is the use of anti-HIV medication to help lower the chances that an at-risk HIV negative person might become infected through sexual contact. PrEP medicines like Truvada work by blocking important pathways that HIV uses to set up an infection.

In April, 2016 FDA approved Gilead's Descovy (emtricitabine + tenofovir alafenamide [TAF]), an HIV nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) for the treatment of HIV-1 infection. But unlike Truvada, Descovy is NOT approved for PrEP.

Descovy is used with other antiretroviral agents to treat HIV-1 in adults and children 12 years and older who weigh at least 35 kg (77 lb). Descovy contains tenofovir alafenamide [TAF] instead of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate [TDF].

In studies, Descovy is as effective as regimens with TDF in reducing the HIV virus, but with with less kidney toxicity and bone loss, a problematic side effect for TDF. Descovy is intended to be a safer replacement for Truvada (emtricitabine + tenofovir disoproxil fumarate [TDF]), another common HIV-1 infection treatment.

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