What is PreP?
PrEP stands for Pre Exposure Prophylaxis. Basically, it’s a once-a-day medication called Truvada, that when taken daily can greatly reduce the risk of getting HIV.
Who needs to take PrEP?
While every person should be screened individually for PrEP, certain groups of people who need to check their status include:
- Men who have sex with men (MSM), especially if they don’t use a condom every single time they have sex
- Transgender individuals, both male and female, who don’t use a condom every single time
- Any person who has had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or multiple STI’s in the last year
- Women who are having sex without condoms, especially if they don’t know their partner’s HIV status
- Any person who is having sex for money, goods, or a place to stay
- Any person who is injecting themselves with needles, either for drugs or for hormones
- Any HIV-positive person in a sexual relationship with a person who is HIV positive
- Any person who has used PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) in the last year. PEP is the medicine you take right after you might have been exposed to HIV
How well does PrEP work?
If taken every single day, PrEP will reduce your chances of getting HIV by over 90%.
In fact, according to a recent study out of San Francisco not a single person who was on PrEP tested positive for HIV after a period of two and half years. The people tested had a very high chance of getting HIV, mostly men who have sex with men. How do we know it was PrEP that protected these individuals and not something else? We know that PrEP helped because half of the people in the study came back with another STI, meaning that they were having unsafe sex part of the time.
Does PrEP have any side effects?
Most patients have little to no side effects at all. When people do have side effects they are usually:
- Upset stomach
It should be noted that even people who have side effects report them going away fully after the first week, or two weeks at the maximum.
How would I pay for PrEP
There are many ways to pay for PrEP. Most health insurances pay for PrEP either partially or fully. If you don’t have health insurance or you don’t have good health insurance coverage, you can still get PrEP. For more information see contact information below. We can help you figure out your options!