LET’s TALK ABOUT…PrEP

PrEP PrEP   

 

What is PrEP?

PrEP is short for pre-exposure prohpylaxis, a once-daily single pill to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV.  It is an FDA approved prescription medication sold under the brand name Truvada.  People who use PrEP must commit to taking the drug every day and seeing their health care provider for follow-up and testing every three months.  It is intended for HIV-negative people at substantial risk of becoming infected with HIV.

 

How effective is PrEP?

When taken as prescribed, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by more than 90 percent.  PrEP is much less effective if it is not taken daily.  Some studies suggest that it takes at lest seven days of daily use for PrEP to reach effectiveness.  PrEP does not protect against other  STDs, so it is strongly recommended that condoms are used along with PrEP.

 

If I start PrEP, does this mean I have to take it for the rest of my life?

With proper medical guidance, people can safely start and stop taking PrEP at different times in their lives.  There may be periods in your life where it makes sense to take PrEP when your risk of exposure to HIV may be high.  These are called “seasons of risk”.  Anytime you stsart PrEP, it is important to remember that it takes at least seven days of daily use to reach effectiveness.  It is important to consult a health care provider before starting or ending treatment.

 

Where can I get PrEP and how much does it cost?

Any health care provider can prescribe PrEP.  Many private insurance plans cover PrEP, as does Medicaid, the state-run health program for lower-income persons.  If you do not have insurance, ask your health care-provider about pharmaceutical patient assistance programs which may be able to offset the cost of the medication.

NOTE:  Talk with your health care provider to see if  PrEP is an option for you and to get guidance on its use and effectiveness.

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