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So what’s PrEP all about?
PrEP, or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, is a HIV prevention tool for HIV-negative individuals. Individuals take an anti-HIV medication to reduce their risk of becoming infected. PrEP is a medication called Truvada that has to be prescribed by your provider. It is the combination of two anti-viral medications tenofovir and emtricitabine.
Is PrEP right for me? Who is PrEP meant for?
PrEP is meant for anyone at high risk of acquiring HIV infection. This includes sexually active men who have sex with men, sexually active heterosexual men and women, and any sexually active HIV-negative individual in a relationship with someone living with HIV. The CDC also recommends PrEP as one prevention tool for adult injection drug users.
PrEP has not yet been adequately studied as a safe prevention method for adolescents and the decision to start PrEP as a young adult should be discussed with your doctor.
If I use PrEP, do I need to use condoms?
PrEP is just one HIV prevention tool and is not recommended as the sole method to protect yourself. Although it has been proven to reduce the risk of HIV infection, condom use is still highly recommended to prevent unintended pregnancy and the transmission of other STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
Condom use as well as safer sex practices should still be a part of your PrEP regimen.
What does taking PrEP entail?
PrEP isn’t just about taking a pill. It’s about taking a pill every single day.
In some cases, your provider may want to see you more frequently when you first start taking PrEP to monitor any potential side effects and to check in with you about how things are going. After that initial period, many providers may be comfortable seeing their patients on PrEP less frequently. Because it is important to test for HIV consistently while on PrEP, they will likely want to see you about every three months to test for HIV and to run other laboratory tests to make sure everything is in order.
How do I sign up?
Fill out the form below and you will be contacted by The Philadelphia Center to schedule your first appointment!