A significant medical advancement in the fight against HIV/AIDS is PrEP – short for pre-exposure prophylaxis. People at risk of getting HIV can take a daily pill to greatly reduce their risk of infection.
The pills – under the brand name Truvada or Descovy – contain two medicines used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV. So, according to the Centers for Disease Control, when someone is exposed to HIV either through sex or injection drug use, these two medicines work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection.
When taken consistently, PrEP reduces the risk of HIV infection in high-risk people by up to 92 percent.
This means PrEP can be a powerful tool in preventing HIV. Effectiveness increases even more when combined with other prevention methods such as condoms. Those who plan to take PrEP commit to taking the medication every day and following up with their health care provider every 3 months. Contact us now to learn more about PrEP and your sexual health.
Review These Questions
Does this mean PrEP is right for you? Review this questions below. If you answer “yes” to one or more, schedule some time to talk with your doctor about a PrEP regimen.
- Do you use condoms sometimes or not at all?
- Or engage in anal or vaginal sex without a condom?
- Is your sexual partner(s) HIV-positive or an unknown status?
- Have you been on PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) in the past year?
- Used PEP before more than once?
- Been treated recently for an STI, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia?
- Are you trying to get pregnant with a HIV-positive partner?
- Do you/your sex partner(s) use or inject drugs?
- Do you/your sex partner(s) exchange sex for money, housing, drugs or other needs?
- Has your partner threatened or forced you to have sex against your will?
PrEP is a good option for many people. Using other safe sex practices increase effectiveness exponentially. Discuss PrEP with your health care provider. Determine if it’s a good fit for you. Decide that you’re committed to taking the pill each day and attending your follow-up doctor’s visits.