PrEP

What is PrEP?

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It’s a daily pill that can help prevent HIV. PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV when taken daily as prescribed. Two medications, sold under the brand names Truvada® and Descovy® are approved for daily use as PrEP to help prevent a person without HIV from getting the virus from sex or injection drug use.

PrEP FAQ

Who can use PrEP?

PrEP is for people who do not have HIV and are at higher risk for getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. Talk to your provider about PrEP if you:

  • Do not consistently use condoms
  • Have a sexual partner who has HIV
  • Have a sexual partner who is at high risk for getting HIV (if they have anal or vaginal sex with other people without condoms or if they’re an injection drug user)
  • Have been diagnosed with an STD in the past 6 months
  • Inject drugs, share needles or have an injection partner with HIV

How effective is PrEP?

Studies have shown the PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by 99% when taken consistently. Among people who inject drugs, PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV by at least 74% when taken consistently. Since PrEP does not protect against other STDs, use condoms the right way every time you have sex.

What are the side effects of PrEP?

PrEP can cause side effects like nausea in some people, but these generally subside over time. No serious side effects have been observed, and these side effects aren’t life threatening. If you are taking PrEP, tell your health care provider about any side effects that are severe or do not go away.

How do I get PrEP?

PrEP needs to be prescribed by a health care provider. Schedule an appointment to find out if PrEP is the right HIV prevention strategy for you. You must take an HIV test before beginning PrEP to be sure you don’t already have HIV and every 3 months while you’re taking it, so you’ll have to visit your health care provider for regular follow-ups.

How do I pay for PrEP?

Most insurance plans, including Medicaid, programs cover PrEP. Prior authorization may be required. For those without insurance, there are programs available to cover the cost of PrEP including Gilead Advancing Access and Ready, Set, PrEP. Vibrant Health has PrEP Navigators who can help you get enrolled in the program that’s right for you.

To learn more about HIV prevention and PrEP, schedule an appointment today.