HIV Medications

Gilead Sciences: TDF HIV Medications

Biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences released tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) for HIV/AIDS treatment starting in 2001. TDF is an antiretroviral medication that helps inhibit the progression of HIV, lowers levels of HIV in the bloodstream, and ultimately decreases the patient’s risk of developing AIDS. It has also been prescribed in some forms to assist in preventing a patient from contracting HIV in the first place.

Gilead Science’s brand name Viread drug is pure TDF, but TDF is also found in other drugs, including: Atripla, Truvada, Stribild, and Complera.

Risks & Side Effects of TDF Medications:

Gilead ad campaigns marketed TDF as a “miracle drug”: an extremely safe, non-toxic medication that would suppress HIV in patients. In actuality, the drugs can cause permanent, irreversible damage to bones and kidneys.

Reported side effects include:

Bone Injuries: (some studies suggest patients using TDF products are at a 40% increased risk of Bone Injuries)

  • Osteopenia (loss of bone density/loss of bone mass)
  • Osteoporosis (Bone weakening/brittle bones)
  • Bone fracture

Kidney Injuries:

  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Acute Kidney Injury or disease
  • Fanconi Syndrome (Acquired, not inherited)


Consumers should not stop taking their medications without first consulting their doctors.


Lawsuit Bases

Johnson Law Group is pursuing lawsuits alleging that Gilead failed to warn patients or healthcare providers of the risks of these side effects or acknowledge the toxicity of its TDF medications. 

Not only did Gilead fail to warn patients, but they had already developed a safer antiretroviral – one that has not been linked to bone and kidney injuries – similar to its TDF products. Gilead’s safer, less toxic medication contains a compound known as Tenofovir Alafenamide Fumarate (TAF), instead of the TDF compound. Gilead first developed the TAF compound from 2002-2004, but then paused work on the safer compound. They did not resume trials until 2012, and did not release it onto the market until 2015 – right near the time some of the Gilead patents on TDF products were set to expire.

Johnson Law Group is now accepting clients who have taken Gilead TDF medication and suffered bone or kidney damage.