A project of the New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center. Partially funded by the National Library of Medicine
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Fact Sheet Number 439
ATRIPLA (efavirenz + emtricitabine + tenofovir)
WHAT IS ATRIPLA?
Atripla is a tablet that contains three
antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) used to fight
HIV: efavirenz (Sustiva), emtricitabine
(Emtriva), and tenofovir (Viread). Atripla is
manufactured by Gilead and Bristol-Myers
Squibb. It is the first tablet that includes a
complete antirretroviral regimen.
The drugs in Atripla are a non-nucleoside
reverse transcriptase inhibitor (efavirenz)
two nucleoside analog reverse
(emtricitabine and tenofovir). These drugs
block the reverse transcriptase enzyme.
This enzyme changes HIV’s genetic
material (RNA) into the form of DNA. This
has to occur before HIV’s genetic code
gets inserted into an infected cell’s own
WHO SHOULD TAKE ATRIPLA?
Atripla was approved in 2006 as an ARV
for adults with HIV infection. Atripla
should not be used in people younger
than age 18. It has not been carefully
studied in older adults. People with liver
or kidney problems may not be able to
There are no absolute rules about when
to start antiretroviral therapy (ART). You
and your health care provider should
consider your CD4 cell count, your viral
load, any symptoms you are having, and
your attitude about taking ART. Fact
Sheet 404 has more information about
guidelines for the use of ART.
If you take Atripla, you can reduce your
viral load to extremely low levels, and
increase your CD4 cell counts. This
should mean staying healthier longer.
Atripla provides three drugs in one pill. It
can be more convenient to use Atripla
than some other combinations of drugs.
This could mean fewer missed doses and
better control of HIV. Atripla can be an