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What is PrEP?

PrEP is a way to help prevent HIV by taking a pill every day. It reduces your risk of getting infected. PrEP is available for people with clinically identified risk factors for HIV. PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. The word "prophylaxis" means to prevent or control.

How does PrEP work?

PrEP contains two medicines that interfere with HIV's ability to grow and take hold in the body if a person is exposed to HIV.

When taken every day, PrEP can provide a high level of protection against HIV, and is even more effective when it is combined with condoms and other prevention options. In several studies of PrEP usage, the risk of getting HIV was reduced by up to 92% for those who took the pill consistently compared to those who did not take the pill at all. 

People who use PrEP must take the pill every day and return to their health care provider every 3 months for lab monitoring, risk review, and prescription refills.

How do I know if PrEP is right for me?

Make an appointment to talk to a health care provider and determine if PrEP is right for you. If you and your provider decide that PrEP is a good option for you, you can get a prescription through Planned Parenthood.

How do I pay for PrEP?

PrEP is covered by most insurance programs, but if you do not have insurance, Planned Parenthood can direct you to medication assistance programs that may help pay for PrEP.

What should I do before my appointment?

Do your research. Seek out information that will help you make a decision and have an informative conversation with your health care provider.

It may also be helpful to make a list of questions for your health care provider, as well as the reasons why you think PrEP would be right for you. Some questions you might ask yourself and/or provider are:

  • Would PrEP be a good option for me?
  • How much would PrEP lower my risk of HIV infection?
  • What else can I do to lower my risk of HIV infection?
  • Will the daily pill work for my routine?
  • Can I get help paying for PrEP?
  • How often will I be tested for HIV and other STDs?
  • Will you prescribe and manage PrEP for me?

The Centers for Disease Control, Act Against AIDS and Start Talking. Stop HIV.

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