Q and A


Why have I been given Tribuss – is this an ARV?

I started taking Tribuss about two weeks ago.

I’d like to know what are the side effects of this medication and what is the difference between them and ARVs.

I was shocked when my doctor prescribed me with Tribuss instead of ARVs which I’m familiar with when people are HIV+?



Thanks for your email. How are you doing?

Tribuss is a pill that contains three HIV drugs (ARVs) – efavirenz, FTC and tenofovir DF.

It is one of the generic versions of the brand-name drug Atripla. For a picture of Tribuss see this link.

So your doctor has prescribed you ARVs, and this pill is very effective at treating HIV.

Side effects mainly related to the efavirenz. These include mood changes, sleep problems, vivid dreams (sometimes nightmares). Luckily, for most people, these usually get easier within the first few weeks. If not though, please talk to your doctor about different choices.

This link has more information about efavirenz side effects and how to manage them.

You guide is an Introduction to ART.

Because you are in South Africa, the Treatment Action Campaign may also have more information about treatment and support in SA.

Note: This answer was updated in February 2018 from a question first posted online in October 2013.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Anonymous,

    Skin darkening isn’t a side effect of the ARVs that you’re taking, so the best thing to do is to talk to a skin specialist.

  2. Anonymous

    Hi ive been diagnosed on HIV in 2012 nd ive been taking tribuss and activo vite tablets as treatment then in 2018 i had stubborn dark blemishes all over my face and have two kids , i have sterilized in 2013.
    I just want to know if the treatment or sterilization is the cause of of my blemishes.
    Your response will be appreciated

  3. Lisa Thorley


    Have you been given a prescription of Tribuss as well as Emtevir? If you have then you need to talk to your doctor about this, as Tribuss isn’t taken with other ARVs are it’s a 3 in 1 combination.

  4. raymond

    i have consulted a doctor about my HIV status, doctor gave me emtevir,pubac and tribuss. But it seems emtevir and tribuss both are ARV.

    Very Concern

    should i take both of them.

    Plz help

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Bobo,

    It’s great that you started Tribuss last November. That’s because modern HIV treatment, such as Tribuss, is very effective. It means that you can have a near normal life expectancy and a good quality of life.

    How’s the treatment going? If you have access to your CD4 count and viral load results, please let us know what they are.

  6. Bobo

    Huw long who I leave when iam taking ARV m171? I started my treatment last year 2019 November?

  7. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Ano,

    It is very common for someone to still be negative even if they have not been using condoms with someone who is HIV positive. HIV is quite a difficult virus to catch, so your negative result is also related to good luck. Please see question 5 here.

    The good news is that if your partner has been taking HIV treatment (ART) and now has an undetectable viral load, the HIV risk to you is zero. Please see Undetectable = Untransmittable at this link.


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