STD Home > What Is Emtricitabine and Tenofovir Used For?

Emtricitabine and tenofovir is approved for treating HIV and AIDS, as well as preventing HIV infection in certain high-risk populations. It can also be used in an off-label fashion to help prevent HIV infection in people exposed to the virus, such as a healthcare worker who comes in contact with a contaminated needle stick. This medication is only approved for people over the age of 12.

What Is Emtricitabine and Tenofovir Used For? -- An Overview

Emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada®) is a prescription medication used to treat HIV and AIDS. It contains two different drugs from two different classes of HIV medications. In addition, this product is the first drug approved to help prevent HIV in certain high-risk populations.

Using Emtricitabine and Tenofovir for HIV Treatment

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was initially reported in the United States in 1981. Since then, it has become a significant worldwide epidemic. AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Initially, an HIV infection usually does not cause any obvious symptoms (see HIV Symptoms). However, by killing or damaging cells of the immune system, HIV will eventually begin to progressively destroy the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers (see AIDS Symptoms).
HIV is commonly spread through sexual contact with an infected partner. Transmission also happens through contact with infected blood, which frequently occurs among IV drug users (who share needles or syringes contaminated with blood from someone infected with the virus). Women with HIV can transmit the virus to their babies during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.
Emtricitabine and tenofovir is not intended to be used alone. Instead, it is used as part of an HIV "cocktail." These cocktails usually consist of three or four different HIV medications (technically known as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART). Using combinations of medications helps to prevent the virus from becoming resistant to one or more of the drugs.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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