WHAT IS PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS (PrEP)?
“PrEP” stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. PrEP is a way for people who don’t have HIV but are concerned about protecting themselves from HIV to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill contains two medicines that are also used to treat HIV. If you take PrEP and are exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from taking hold in your body.
PrEP is a powerful HIV prevention tool and can be combined with condoms and other prevention methods to provide even greater protection than when used alone. But people who use PrEP must commit to taking the drug every day and seeing their health care provider for follow-up every 3 months.
HOW WELL DOES PrEP WORK?
When taken every day, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who may be exposed by more than 90%. PrEP is much less effective if it is not taken consistently. PrEP can be even more effective if it is combined with other ways to prevent new HIV infections like condom use, drug abuse treatment, and treatment for people living with HIV to reduce the chance of passing the virus to others.
PrEP was tested in several large studies with men who have sex with men, men who have sex with women, women who have sex with men, and people who inject drugs.
IS PrEP SAFE?
Some people in clinical studies of PrEP had early side effects such as an upset stomach or loss of appetite, but these were mild and usually went away within the first month. Some people also had a mild headache. No serious side effects were observed. If you are on PrEP, you should tell your healthcare provider if these or other symptoms become severe or do not go away.
IS PrEP Affordable?
PrEP is covered by most medical insurance plans. At Two Spirit Health Services, you don’t need insurance to afford PrEP. Through generous partnerships with the State of Florida, Quest Diagnostics, Hope and Help and The Center, your physician’s appointment and necessary lab screenings can cost as low as $40 out-of-pocket. Through patient assistance programs, your prescription can be filled for free. STD testing is additional $36 dollars.
IS PrEP right for me?
Call us at 407-487-9868 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment to learn more.