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Questions and Answers about PrEP

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a prevention program to help reduce risk of HIV infection if an individual is exposed to the use of medications. A single dose everyday with medications such as Truvada can help negative HIV individuals to stay healthy.

Truvada and Descovy are two medications that are used within program and have shown positive results with significantly reducing risk of infections. This program is effective for gay and bisexual men, transgender women, as well as heterosexual men and women.

Truvada is the first medication approved by the FDA in 2012 for use as PrEP.

PrEP is considered a safe program as most people tolerate it well. Truvada, which is part of the PrEP program, has been safely used to treat people living with HIV for the past 15 years. Some mild side effects at the beginning of the program can result from taking PrEP, such as headaches, upset stomach, some weight loss.

Anyone who wants to stay HIV-negative and thinks there is a chance that they may be exposed to HIV sexually or through sharing injection equipment at some point in the future. For example, if you think there’s a chance you may end up choosing to have anal, vaginal, and/or oral sex without condoms, PrEP can benefit you by giving you confidence you’ll stay negative while doing so, regardless of your partner’s HIV status.

Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken daily.

According to the CDC, PrEP reaches maximum protection from HIV for receptive anal sex at about 7 days of daily use. For receptive vaginal sex and injection drug use, PrEP reaches maximum protection at about 21 days of daily use.

PrEP works to prevent HIV from establishing itself in someone’s body even if they’re exposed to HIV through sex or sharing injection equipment.

Being on PrEP involves taking a pill every day and having an appointment every three months with your PrEP provider to check in and get tested.

We provide the PrEP prescription at no cost to our patients, regardless of their insurance status, income, or citizenship status.

For exams, HIV testing, and other services, please contact us.

Daily dosage is approved by the FDA, as this is the way it provides the full protection benefit.

The pill can be taken during any time of the day. However, it is recommended that you take it at the same time every day so you don’t forget.

 

PrEP can be taken by people who use hormones and those who do not. It has not shown to make changes to hormone levels. Taken daily, it provides protection without altering any of the body’s hormones.

PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by 99% when taken regularly.

Yes, PrEP has a prescription requirement and needs to be monitored often through lab work.

Once you and your provider talk it over and determine that PrEP can work for you, a prescription will be sent immediately to the pharmacy of your choice. Insurance and financial assistance need to be processed, and then the pharmacy will confirm your information and send you the prescription within a few days.

You may also choose to have them shipped to our local clinic and you may pick them up from us, or to your local pharmacy.

It can be delivered quickly within a week of PrEP appointment. Sometimes it may take a bit longer due to insurance plans, which can sometimes delay the process.

PrEP taken daily can be very forgiving of any missed dosages. Estimated

While stopping PrEP, after 30 days of daily dosing, the estimated protection offered by the PrEP remaining in the body from HIV transmission via anal intercourse was 97% 24 hours after the time of the first missed dose, 96% after three days, 93% after five days, and was still 90% a week later. (Source from AidsMap). This only applies to cis men. Cis women and trans men should not miss any dosages.

Even if you miss a dosage, you can still continue to take PrEP the next day. It is not necessary to take double dosage to make up for the missing dosage.

Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, works similarly to an emergency contraception, but in this case it protects you from HIV. PEP can help prevent you from getting HIV after being exposed. This treatment takes 28 days long, and you would take the same pill as PrEP, plus an additional medication. The treatment has to be taken within 72 hours from being exposed, or potentially exposed to HIV. The treatment is the most effective when taken within the first 24 hours.

 

 

Once you have been tested and results come back positive for HIV or another STD, your provider will contact you to set up an appointment to go over options for treatment.

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