PrEP is an HIV prevention method in which people who are not infected with HIV take one pill a day that is prescribed by their doctor to prevent getting HIV. Currently, the only medication approved by FDA to use for PrEP is Truvada.
Prevention is critical. PrEP can provide a high level of protection against HIV when taken daily, in combination with condom use.
PrEP is prescribed by a health care provider and must be taken daily in order for it to be effective. PrEP does not work after a person stops taking it. If a person does not take Truvada every day, there may not be enough medicine in the blood stream to block the virus.
The CDC recommends considering PrEP for a person in an ongoing relationship with an HIV-positive partner, that are not in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-negative, and is a
- gay or bisexual man who has had anal sex without a condom or been diagnosed with an STD in the past 6 months; OR
- heterosexual man or woman who does not regularly use condoms during sex with partners of unknown HIV status who are at substantial risk of HIV infection (e.g., people who inject drugs or have bisexual male partners).
The CDC also recommends PrEP for “people who inject drugs, this includes those who have injected illicit drugs in the past 6 months and who have shared injection equipment or been in drug treatment for injection drug use in the past 6 months.”
For those that took PrEP consistently, it lowered the risk of getting HIV infection up to 92% in several studies.
A person taking PrEP should continue using condoms during all sexual encounters. Taking PrEP alone is not 100% effective. Unlike PrEP, condoms can also protect against other STIs and pregnancy. Therefore, persons PrEP are encouraged to continue using condoms for maximum protection.
To start PrEP at FCDHW, labs must be completed.
Clients are tested for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, creatinine (kidney function) and Hepatitis A, B, and C
Labs are done on a walk-in basis, Monday through Friday, 8am to 3pm. Appointments to see a clinician are by appointment only.
Appointments are scheduled to see a clinician within two weeks.
Insured clients can receive PrEP at a discounted rate through the Gilead co-pay assistance program.
Uninsured clients are eligible for the Gilead advancing access program. Once the application is approved, clients receive PrEP free of charge.*
(*Application approval is based on household income and must be renewed every 6 months)
Clients are expected to return to the clinic 30 days after starting PrEP. After which, they are expected to return to the clinic every 3 months.
Call the PrEP Coordinator at (404) 613-1540.