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PrEP Basics

PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. This is not a drug, but rather a regimen for taking the common HIV treatment medication named Truvada.

PrEP is available for specific populations of people with clinically-identified risk factors and can help prevent you from getting HIV if you are exposed to the virus.

How Does It Work?

The pill in the PrEP regimen, Truvada, contains two antiretroviral medicines that interfere with HIV’s ability to grow and take hold in your body if you are exposed to the virus.

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 medicines consistently than for those who didn’t take them at all.

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

How Can I Start PrEP?

Make an appointment at Planned Parenthood to talk to a healthcare provider and determine if PrEP is right for you.

If you and your healthcare 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 healthcare provider.

Some people also find it helpful to make a list of questions for your healthcare 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?

Sources

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

Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho offers PrEP at each of our health centers throughout the Inland Northwest.

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