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Today’s medicines are helping people live healthy with HIV. While there’s no cure, there are powerful treatments that work quickly to fight and suppress the virus. When taken every day, these treatments can lower the amount of virus in the blood to levels that are undetectable. That’s when the amount is so low it can't be measured in a lab test.

We've come a long way, but the fight isn't over yet. Here are some considerations to bring up with your healthcare provider when discussing your HIV-1 treatment options.

Start HIV treatment as soon as possible

Don’t wait. Talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible after diagnosis. Some people are able to start treatment the same day they are diagnosed. Regardless of your viral load, starting treatment quickly can help you get to undetectable, which helps increase the number of CD4 T-cells and lower your risk of developing AIDS.

Reach and stay undetectable with HIV treatment

It’s important to take your treatment every day, so you can get to undetectable and stay there. Undetectable means the amount of virus in the blood is so low that it can’t be measured by a test. And even when you’re undetectable, it’s important to keep taking your HIV treatment as prescribed so it can keep fighting the virus to prevent drug resistance. Drug resistance can happen when the virus changes in a way that makes some HIV treatments no longer effective.

Why undetectable matters while living with HIV

Reaching undetectable can help you live a healthy life with HIV-1. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), taking HIV treatment every day and getting to and staying undetectable prevents transmitting HIV through sex. That means you can be part of ending the epidemic by preventing the virus from being passed to others.

Get the conversation about your health goals started with your doctor.


Caring for Your Body

Two of the most important goals of treatment are getting to and staying undetectable. It’s also important to focus on practicing healthy behaviors. Talk with your healthcare provider about how you can add the following behaviors into your life.

  • Caring for your mental health icon.

    Take care of your mental health

  • Alcohol icon.

    Avoid substance use and abuse

  • Apple icon.

    Establish and maintain a healthy diet

  • Exercise icon.

    Start an exercise program

  • No smoking icon.

    Stop smoking

What is BIKTARVY®?

BIKTARVY is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults and children who weigh at least 55 pounds. It can either be used in people who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before, or people who are replacing their current HIV-1 medicines and whose healthcare provider determines they meet certain requirements.

BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS.


What is the most important information I should know about BIKTARVY?

BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects:

  • Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. Your healthcare provider will test you for HBV. If you have both HIV-1 and HBV and stop taking BIKTARVY, your HBV may suddenly get worse. Do not stop taking BIKTARVY without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to monitor your health, and may give you HBV medicine.

Who should not take BIKTARVY?

Do not take BIKTARVY if you take:

  • dofetilide
  • rifampin
  • any other medicines to treat HIV-1

What are the other possible side effects of BIKTARVY?

Serious side effects of BIKTARVY may also include:

  • Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that may have been hidden in your body. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking BIKTARVY.
  • Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys. If you develop new or worse kidney problems, they may tell you to stop taking BIKTARVY.
  • Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat.
  • Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain.

The most common side effects of BIKTARVY in clinical studies were diarrhea (6%), nausea (6%), and headache (5%). Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or don’t go away.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking BIKTARVY?

  • All your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis virus infection.
  • All the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, and herbal supplements. BIKTARVY and other medicines may affect each other. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist, and ask if it is safe to take BIKTARVY with all of your other medicines.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BIKTARVY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking BIKTARVY.
  • If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call ‍1‑800‑FDA‑10881‑800‑FDA‑1088.

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