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What is PrEP?

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. It does not prevent other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

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 health care 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 health care provider and determine if PrEP is right for you.

If you and your health care provider decide that PrEP is a good option for you, you can get a prescription through PPHP.

What is PEP?

PEP stands for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis. The sooner you start, the better it works -- every hour matters. PEP can help protect you if ou had anal or vaginal sex without a condom with someone who has, or might have, HIV. PEP can also prevent HIV if you were exposed while injecting drugs. 

How Does PEP Work?

PEP works best if started right away. You should begin PEP within 72 hours after a potential exposure to HIV.

You take PEP for 28 days. You need to take PEP pills each day to keep enough medicine in your body to stop HIV. If you want to stop taking PEP, talk to your health care provider first. 

How Do I Pay for PrEP or PEP?

PrEP and PEP are 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 or PEP.

Sources

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

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