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PrEP

Landscape of Options for Oral PrEP

A generic version of a medication used for oral PrEP is now available. Here’s what to know — and what to do if you run into any payment issues at the pharmacy.

On October 1, 2020, a generic version of Truvada, a medication used for PrEP, became available from Teva Pharmaceuticals.

PrEP options

There are now three options for PrEP for HIV prevention:

  • Brand-name Truvada
  • Brand-name Descovy
  • Generic Truvada (TDF/FTC)

You may have questions about what PrEP medication is right for you or what to do if your health insurance switches you to a different medication. Here’s some more info.

Safety & effectiveness

There is a safe and effective PrEP option for everyone.

There are a few clinically significant differences between Truvada, generic Truvada, and Descovy.

  • Descovy hasn’t been studied with people who may be exposed to HIV through vaginal or front hole sex, or who are taking PrEP 2-1-1 (also called “PrEP on-demand” or “event-based PrEP”)
  • People who are over 50 years old, people with kidney function impairment, and/or people with osteoporosis or bone issues may benefit from taking Descovy over Truvada or generic Truvada.

Other than these exceptions, it is safe for the vast majority of people to switch from one version of PrEP medication to another.

Insurance coverage & costs

Your insurance company may change their PrEP medication coverage. Payment options will vary based on if you have insurance, what type of insurance you have, and if you qualify for PrEP assistance programs.

If you are part of our PrEP Health Program, we can help you address any copay or insurance problems that you may encounter at the pharmacy. Call us or email us at 415-437-3450 or prep@sfaf.org.

List of available PrEP payment and access options by health coverage
Health Coverage Truvada Descovy Generic Truvada
(TDF/FTC)
Uninsured No insurance
Medication payment assistance:

  • Advancing Access (Gilead)*
  • Ready, Set, PrEP assistance available (Federal government)
Medication payment assistance:

  • Advancing Access (Gilead)*
  • Ready, Set, PrEP assistance available (Federal government)
Medication payment assistance:

  • No copay assistance through drug manufacturer (Teva), as of October 6, 2020
Public health plans Including Medicaid/Medi-Cal, Medicare, Tricare & Veterans benefits
Medication payment assistance:

  • PrEP-AP (California state program)**
  • Patient Advocate Foundation (private foundation)**

Medication access:

  • Clients might be switched to generic Truvada***
Medication payment assistance:

  • PrEP-AP (California state program)**
  • Patient Advocate Foundation (private foundation)**

Medication access:

  • Descovy is covered
Medication payment assistance:

  • PrEP-AP (California state program)**
  • Patient Advocate Foundation (private foundation)**

Medication access:

  • Generic Truvada is covered
Private health plans
Medication payment assistance:

  • Gilead co-pay cards available*
  • PrEP-AP (California state program)**
  • Patient Advocate Foundation (private foundation)**

Medication access:

  • Clients might be encouraged or forced to switch to generic Truvada
Medication payment assistance:

  • Gilead co-pay cards available
  • PrEP-AP (California state program)**
  • Patient Advocate Foundation (private foundation)**

Medication access:

  • Clients may be required to provide clinical documentation to stay on Descovy
Medication payment assistance:

  • TEVA co-pay cards available
  • PrEP-AP (California state program)**
  • Patient Advocate Foundation (private foundation)**

Medication access:

  • Some insurance companies are offering $0 cost for client
  • * At this time, we are unsure how long Gilead co-pay cards and uninsured coverage will be available for brand-name Truvada.
  • ** These are income-based assistance programs that require coordination with your provider in order to enroll.
  • *** To stay on brand name Truvada, a Treatment Authorization Form can be used; Truvada would be covered with authorization form.

Download the fact sheet (PDF)


In English En Español

Contact us with questions and for further info!

Email prep@sfaf.org, call 415-437-3450, or visit our PrEP and PEP services page.