PrEP means Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and it's the use of anti-HIV medications to keep HIV negative people from becoming infected. PrEP is approved by the FDA and has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing HIV infection.
Before a doctor can prescribe PrEP (brand name: Truvada), you need to:
• Find a doctor that is trained to prescribe and maintain the proper protocol for PrEP. Not sure how to find a doctor? Ask a trusted friend that is on PrEP or at a HIV testing program.
• Have an office visit with the doctor where he or she evaluates your risk of HIV exposure based on your sexual activities. Being honest and open with your doctor is very important.
• Be tested for HIV to confirm you’re currently negative for HIV
• Be tested for Hepatitis B
• Be tested for healthy kidney functions
• Confirm that you’re not taking other HIV or Hepatitis B medications
• Understand that while PrEP is generally considered safe for most people, there are known safety risks associated with any medication.
• For women: Undergo a pregnancy test and decide if PrEP is still right for you if you’re pregnant
Once you’re on PrEP, you must:
• Take the medication as prescribed every day
• Visit your doctor every 2-3 months for lab tests, including an HIV test and kidney function test
• Monitor yourself for side effects of PrEP and contact your doctor with any concerns
• Remain honest and open with your doctor
• Understand that PrEP is only one part of your personal strategy to reduce your risk of HIV
Additionally, when you’re on PrEP, it is highly recommended that you:
• Be tested regularly for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis
• Strongly consider receiving a Hepatitis B vaccine
• Continue practicing safer sex consistently, however you choose to define that for yourself
Are you ready to get PrEP? Check out our PrEP RESOURCES PAGE to find a doctor or other health care providers, financial assistance, PrEP navigation and other information. CLICK HERE