Truvada Lawsuit

Truvada, the only drug approved for both HIV treatment and prevention by the FDA, has been the subject of recent HIV drug lawsuits. These lawsuits claim that Truvada and other HIV drugs may cause kidney and bone damage. Victims of Truvada-related illnesses have filed their lawsuits against Gilead Sciences, the drug’s manufacturer.

What Is a Truvada Lawsuit?

Those who used Truvada and have serious side effects such as kidney and bone damage are now filing lawsuits against Gilead Sciences.

Truvada was first approved as an HIV treatment by the FDA in 2004, and by 2012 was the most-prescribed HIV drug in the U.S.

Also in 2012, the FDA approved Truvada for PrEP. Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a version of the drug meant to protect someone before they come in contact with HIV-1.

However, it is now believed that Truvada could harm those who use it. Truvada contains tenofovir disoproxil (TDF). TDF is a compound that slows the spread of HIV but can be highly toxic to patients’ kidneys and bones.

TDF in Truvada may cause: 

  • Acute kidney injury (AKI)
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD)
  • Renal impairment
  • Bone loss (deterioration, breaks, and fractures)
  • Loss of teeth
  • Osteoporosis

In a Truvada lawsuit, a victim seeks financial compensation from Gilead if they developed any of these health problems.

Compensation can help pay for: 

  • Costs of medical treatment
  • Lost wages if they can no longer work
  • Damages for pain, grief, and suffering
  • Other expenses related to their injuries

If you used Truvada and later suffered from kidney or bone damage, you may be able to file a lawsuit and receive financial compensation from Gilead.

Truvada Lawsuit 2018

TDF lawsuits against Gilead garnered national attention in 2018. Truvada was named in a number of these lawsuits.

Notable Truvada-related lawsuits include: 

  • Holley, et al. v. Gilead: In this 2018 lawsuit, the plaintiffs (victims) claim that Gilead downplayed the risks of Truvada and other Gilead drugs. The lawsuit also claims Gilead had access to a safer version of TDF called tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF) but did not sell it until 2015.
  • Smith v. Gilead: In this lawsuit, a single plaintiff claimed that taking Truvada for PrEP for two years caused him to lose bone mineral density. He later broke his arm so badly that the bones “pierced through his skin,” claiming it was because his bones were frail.

In the present, more lawsuits are being filed as the dangers of Truvada and other TDF drugs become more well-known. The Washington Blade reported on two lawsuits filed against Gilead in July 2019. Truvada for PrEP was named in these lawsuits.

The Blade went on to note that at least 12 other HIV lawsuits had been filed against Gilead in California alone since 2017. Some lawsuits have multiple plaintiffs who are dealing with the same health problems.

Filing a Truvada Class-Action Lawsuit

If you are considering taking legal action against Gilead, a Truvada class-action lawsuit may be right for you. Keep in mind, most mass tort and product liability cases are not handled as class-actions.

In a class-action lawsuit, groups of people with similar health problems decide to file their lawsuit together. Individual lawsuits concerning the same issues can also be merged into one class-action lawsuit.

A notable example of a class-action Truvada lawsuit is Holley, et al. v. Gilead. In this lawsuit, 140 plaintiffs from 30 different states blame Gilead TDF drugs for their bone and kidney damage.

Even smaller class-action cases have been filed against Gilead. A two-person class-action lawsuit was filed against Gilead in May 2018.

In all of these examples, the plaintiffs worked with experienced lawyers to file their lawsuit and receive compensation.

Gilead is a multibillion-dollar company and has skilled lawyers representing their interests. Trying to file a lawsuit without skilled lawyers of your own may be a mistake. Your case could be delayed or thrown out entirely.

A lawyer can help you file your lawsuit properly and work to get you the most compensation available. They can also determine if a class-action lawsuit is in your best interest.

Other Truvada Lawsuit Types

While class-action lawsuits may seem common, they may not suit everyone’s needs. In these cases, your lawyer can help you file another type of lawsuit.

Other types of Truvada lawsuits include: 

  • Personal Injury: In this type of lawsuit, one person blames the defendant (in this case, Gilead) for their illness or injury.
  • Wrongful Death: If someone dies — and another person or party could be to blame — their family members may file a lawsuit. These lawsuits seek compensation for the victim’s medical expenses and the family’s grief.

Settlements vs Trials

In most cases, lawsuits end with an out-of-court settlement. In a settlement, the plaintiff agrees to drop the lawsuit, and, in return, the defendant pays a lump sum of money.

If both sides cannot agree to a settlement, then the case will go to trial before a judge and jury.

Here are the benefits and drawbacks of each:


  • Settlements usually can’t be appealed
  • The plaintiff receives money faster
  • Less stressful
  • Controlled outcome
  • Settlements may award the plaintiff with less compensation
  • The defendant usually doesn’t admit fault


  • Trials may award the plaintiff more than a settlement
  • Outcome is unpredictable
  • Takes longer
  • If the plaintiff loses, they receive no money
  • If the plaintiff wins, the verdict could be overturned later

Your lawyer can help you determine if settling or going to trial will better for your case.

Legal Help for Truvada Health Problems

As the health risks and legal controversies surrounding Truvada become more apparent, anyone at risk needs to know their legal options.

Between 2018 and 2019, over 150 people have filed lawsuits claiming that TDF drugs like Truvada permanently harmed them.

While legal action against Gilead is still ongoing, the link between Truvada and damage to the kidneys and bones should concern anyone who used or is currently taking this drug.

If you developed serious side effects from using Truvada, you may be able to file a lawsuit. To learn more, get a free case review today.

Author:HIV Drug Justice Editorial Team
HIV Drug Justice Editorial Team

HIV Drug Justice educates people about the risks of HIV drugs, which can cause kidney failure and bone damage. Our site is managed by the HIV Drug Justice Editorial Team, a group of concerned writers, editors, journalists, and illustrators. Our team helps readers understand what medical and legal options are available if they used dangerous HIV drugs and developed serious health problems as a result.

Last modified: September 17, 2019

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  2. Dechow, et al. v. Gilead Sciences Inc. (C.D. Cal. 2018)

  3. Gilead Sciences. (2004, August 2). U.S. FDA Approves Gilead’s Truvada, a One-Tablet, Once-a-Day Fixed-Dose Co-Formulation of Viread and Emtriva as Part of HIV Combination Therapy. Retrieved from

  4. Gilead Sciences. (2012, July 16). U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approves Gilead’s Truvada for Reducing the Risk of Acquiring HIV. Retrieved from

  5. Hills v. Gilead Sciences Inc. (M.D. La. 2018)

  6. Holley, et al. v. Gilead Sciences Inc. (N.D. Cal. 2018)

  7. Lujano, et al. v. Gilead Sciences Inc. (Ca. 2018)

  8. Peirot v. Gilead Sciences Inc. (W.D. La. 2018)

  9. Smith v. Gilead Sciences Inc.(D.C.C. 2018)