PrEP

 

What is PrEP?

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a daily pill taken by someone who is HIV-Negative and can reduce the chances of that person becoming HIV-positive by 92-99% if they are exposed to HIV.

 

Who is PrEP for?

PrEP is recommended for anyone who is at-risk for contracting HIV.  This includes, but not limited to, someone who is: gay/bi and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who do not always wear condoms, IV drug users, has a partner who is HIV-positive, and/or has sexual partner who is at-risk for contracting HIV.

 

Who should not take PrEP?

People who are HIV-positive, people who do not know if they are HIV-positive, and people who have a problem taking a pill every day.

 

Will I always have to take PrEP?

PrEP can be taken when a person is at-risk for contracting HIV and stopped if they are no longer at-risk or do not want to take the medication. PrEP can be started again if needed.

 

Is PrEP Safe?

Yes.  Truvada was chosen because of the low amount of side effects.  It has also been used as a part of HIV treatment for over 10 years.

 

What are the side effects?

The most common side effects are dizziness, nausea, and headache.  Most people who took PrEP did not have side effects.  For the people who did have side effects, most of them went away after a few weeks.

 

Will PrEP make people act more risky?

Studies show that people who took PrEP had a slight decrease in their number of sexual partners and a slight increase in condom usage.

 

Should I still use condoms?

It is recommended to use PrEP with condoms to get the most protection from sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

 

Will PrEP protect against other sexually transmitted infections?

PrEP is only meant to protect against HIV and does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

 

How can I get PrEP?

Any healthcare provider who can prescribe a medication is able to write a prescription for PrEP.  You might know more about PrEP than your healthcare provider and may need to educate them.  If you feel PrEP is right for you and you are having trouble getting the prescription, you may want to try a different provider who can meet your sexual healthcare needs.

 

What else?

To be on PrEP, you will have to see your healthcare provider every 3 months to be tested for HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and kidney health.

 

What about PEP?

PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) is taken by someone who is not on PrEP after a potential HIV exposure for about 4 weeks.  PEP has to be started within 72 hours after the potential HIV exposure for it to work.

 

How will I pay for PrEP?

Right now, Truvada is the only drug that has been approved for PrEP.  Gilead has patient assistance programs that can help cover most or all of the cost.  Many people have gotten PrEP for free or at low cost.  Also, The Patient Access Network can help cover the remainder of the cost.  For more info visit:

Gilead.com

Panfoundation.org