Q and A


Are there long term effects from taking Biktarvy as PEP?


On Sunday 13 November I had unprotected sex with a girl who had also unprotected sex few days earlier and I don’t know the status of both of them.

In the night of Monday the 14th I had anal sex with a transexual girl from Brazil and the condom broke..the condom was only punctured at the tip and not completely torn.

In the following 24 hours I started PEP therapy under the advice and consultancy of the infectious disease specialist in the emergency room of my city, my general tests were good and the HIV test negative.

Yesterday the transsexual girl in question did a rapid HIV test (the kind you buy at pharmacies) which resulted negative. The state of the previous girl and her friend is still unknown to me.

The therapy administered to me consists of 1 pill of Biktarvy (tenofovir AF +emtricitabine + bictegravir) for 28 days.I decided to continue the therapy just to be safe I have two questions:

I am afraid that this therapy being heavy could somehow damage my kidneys and create long-term damage, I have read of a guy on this site with permanent reduction of renal function after taking PEP.

The infectious disease specialist told me that the closer the sexual act is, the more I am covered, while after three days I am no longer covered or in any case the percentage of effectiveness drops significantly. Did I still make the right choice to continue therapy?

Thanks for the help I’m scared and confused.


Hi, how are you doing?

Biktarvy is generally a very well tolerated drug. It is used also in the management of HIV in which people are using Biktarvy for years. In these cases it is still rare for treatment to have significant negative impacts on the persons health. There is some association between tenofovir and kidney function, however this is not predicted to occur in short course treatment. If there is risk of negative renal function impact, kidney function can be tested prior to starting treatment.

While there are mentions on this website of people who have had impacted health while on treatment. Please recognise these are isolated cases and the entire history is unknown. These do not allow conclusions to be made about possible outcomes of treatment. i-base are not doctors, rather we provide information about research and treatment. We do not advise in the clinical context.

Your continuation of PEP is entirely your choice. There is only potential exposure from your initial contact. As long as PEP was started within 72 hours of this exposure, PEP will be effective if there was risk of HIV. There will not be long term complications of finishing a 28 day course of Biktarvy.



  1. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Drew, no you do not need to extend your course. You can continue taking this combination of PEP for the next 24 days. That will complete your course. The change of lamivudine to emtricitabine will not effect the effectiveness of PEP.

  2. Drew

    Hi, i started PEP for 4 days with TDF+lamivudine+efavirenz, but changed my course with TDF+emtricitabine+efavirenz due to insufficient pills. My question is do i have to take the new course for 28days of just 24days since i already started 4 days with a different course? Thanks


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