Several large, randomised, comparative studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of emtricitabine (Emtriva) as an anti-HIV drug. It is active against both HIV-1 and HIV-2.1 2 3  Emtricitabine is recommended as a component of first-line antiretroviral therapy in combination with tenofovir and another agent in World Health Organization, British, European and United States treatment guidelines.

Among people with hepatitis B virus, emtricitabine produces a 2 to 3 log10 reduction in hepatitis B viral load.4 5 Emtricitabine is also effective against hepatitis B virus in people with HIV co-infection, when included as part of an antiretroviral treatment regimen. After 48 weeks of treatment, over half of the people treated with emtricitabine achieve undetectable hepatitis B viral loads, a level which is similar to that in people without HIV. HIV viral loads were also reduced to below the limit of detection in 94% of the people with co-infection.6 7 However, emtricitabine is not licensed for the treatment of hepatitis B infection, and severe flare-ups of hepatitis can occur when emtricitabine treatment is stopped in people with co-infection.


  1. Saag M et al. Efficacy and safety of emtricitabine vs stavudine in combination therapy in antiretroviral-naive patients: a randomized trial. JAMA 292: 180-189, 2004
  2. Raffi F et al. A randomised, double-blind, multi-centre comparison of emtricitabine QD to stavudine BID in treatment-naïve HIV-infected patients. Antivir Ther 8: S193, 2003
  3. Gazzard B et al. The combination of tenofovir DF (TDF), emtricitabine (FTC) and efavirenz (EFV) has significantly greater response vs fixed dose zidovudine/lamivudine (CBV) and EFV in antiretroviral naïve patients: a 24 week preliminary analysis. 44th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Washington, abstract H-1137C, 2004
  4. Gish RG et al. Dose range study of pharmacokinetics, safety, and preliminary antiviral activity of emtricitabine in adults with hepatitis B virus infection. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 46: 1734-1740, 2002
  5. Rousseau F et al. Emtricitabine (FTC): HBV DNA viral load assessments over 36 weeks in patients with chronic HBV infection. Eighth Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, Chicago, abstract 559, 2001
  6. Raffi F et al. Anti-HBV activity of emtricitabine (FTC) in patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis B virus. Antivir Ther 8: S236, 2003
  7. Harris J et al. Emtricitabine therapy for hepatitis infection in HIV-1 patients co-infected with hepatitis B: antiviral response and genotypic findings in antiretroviral treatment naïve patients. Eleventh Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, San Francisco, abstract 836, 2004
Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.