Having sex? Protect yourself with PrEP.
Jason started using PrEP, a once daily pill to prevent HIV, after a very close call. He was new to town, lonely, and met a man who was both appealing and interested. Without conversation of any kind – including the important discussion about sexual safety – they had unprotected sex.
Three weeks later Jason learned that the man he had slept with was HIV positive. “The most hurtful thing about it was that he had contracted HIV from a man who did the same thing to him. That is just wrong.”
Jason tested negative for HIV and started taking PrEP. He now gets laboratory tests, counseling about reducing his health risks, and an HIV test every three months. He knows he dodged a bullet, and plans to stay free of HIV from now on, by taking PrEP every day.
If you are HIV-negative but worry about becoming HIV-positive, PrEP could be right for you
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medication for HIV-negative individuals to reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV. Truvada, a tablet taken orally once daily, significantly reduces the chance of HIV infection after unprotected sex and other risky behaviors. PrEP is currently used to prevent HIV in sexually active men and women and in injection drug users. Those taking PrEP must have regular laboratory tests and an HIV test every three months.
Adherence to a daily routine of taking PrEP is the biggest factor that determines the efficacy of PrEP. It is most effective when taken daily and has minimal side effects. PrEP blocks HIV infection by stopping HIV replication. Those taking PrEP should also use safer sex practices and other prevention measures to reduce the risk of HIV infections.
Before being prescribed PrEP you will need to have an honest conversation with your health care provider to assess if you are a good candidate for PrEP and how often you will need to be tested for HIV and other STDs. There are ways to help you pay for PrEP if you need assistance. Click here to learn more.