Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis – PrEP
PrEP: For Whatever Comes Your Way
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) are prescription medications that can be taken to lower your risk of getting HIV, by up to 99%, according to the CDC. They entail taking a daily pill or a shot every 8 weeks to reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there different types of PrEP?
PrEP can be pills or shots. There are two pills approved for use as PrEP: Truvada® and Descovy®.
- Truvada® is for people at risk through sex or injection drug use.
- Descovy® is for people at risk through sex. Descovy is not for people assigned female at birth who are at risk for HIV through receptive vaginal sex.
Apretude is the only shot approved for use as PrEP. Apretude is for people at risk through sex who weigh at least 77 pounds (35 kg).
Do I have to be HIV positive to get PrEP?
No. PrEP lowers the risk by up to 99% of getting and transmitting HIV from sex.
How long does it take PrEP to work?
It is estimated that it takes 7-21 days of daily use to become effective.
What are the side effects of taking PrEP?
As with any prescription medication, there are side effects. Studies show: 5% of patients report diarrhea, 4% report nausea, 2% report headaches, 2% report fatigue, 2% report abdominal pain.
Do I still need to use condoms?
Some people will keep using condoms while on PrEP. Remember: PrEP only prevents HIV and it does not protect against other STI such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, etc. Condoms provide additional protection against STI’s and unintended pregnancy.
What happens if I stop taking it or miss a day?
It is not recommended to double up on a dosage the next day – just take the missed dosage as soon as you remember or simply start on the scheduled medication for the following day. The chances of HIV transmission could increase if you miss multiple dosages of PrEP.
Can I take my pill at a different time every day?
Yes! You can take it a different times each day and it will still remain effective. Choose a time or routine that works best for you.
Schedule an appointment today with one of our medical providers who can help you decide if PrEP is the best option for you.