Truvada (TDF/FTC) was the first medication approved for use as PrEP, back in 2012.
Descovy (TAF/FTC) was approved as PrEP in 2019 after a scientific study demonstrated that Descovy is non-inferior to Truvada in terms of efficacy for cis men and trans women. It is not FDA approved as PrEP for use by people who may be sexually exposed to HIV through vaginal sex because it has only been studied so far in trans women and cis men.
For a side-by-side comparison of Truvada and Descovy’s use as PrEP, please see this brief informational article from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, which runs a PrEP clinic similar to ours:
The main difference between Truvada and Descovy as PrEP for cis men and trans women is that while that for a very small percentage of prospective PrEP users, Truvada might be contraindicated due to bone mineral density or kidney function issues, Descovy can still be safely used in those cases because it has less of an effect on bone mineral density and kidney function than Truvada does. However, this does not mean that Descovy is an overall “safer” drug or that Truvada is “unsafe.”
MCPC prescribes both forms of PrEP. Like all our services, they are both free for the patient, including the cost of the medication itself, the lab work and appointments to monitor them.