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Planned Parenthood

Northern California

PEP and PrEP for HIV Prevention

PEP

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What is PEP?

PEP is a combination of medications that can be taken to prevent HIV infection up to 72 hours after an exposure to the HIV virus. You can get PEP at all our health centers.

nPEP stands for non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis. It means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected. PEP should only be used in uncommon situations right after a potential HIV exposure. It is not intended for long-term use. If you have ongoing risk factors, you might consider visiting a health center to be evaluated for PrEP.

How does PEP work?

PEP must be started within 72 hours (or 3 days) after a recent possible exposure to HIV, but the sooner you start PEP, the better. PEP is effective in preventing HIV when administered correctly, but not 100%.

You will have to take two pills (Truvada and Raltegravir) for 28 days and will need to return to the health center for regular testing.

How do I know if PEP is right for me?

Make an appointment at Planned Parenthood to talk to a healthcare provider and determine if PEP is right for you. If you and your healthcare provider decide that PEP is a good option for you, you can get it at Planned Parenthood.

How do I pay for PEP?

PEP is highly effective but can also be very expensive for clients paying out of pocket. Medi-Cal, our state insurance program for low-income clients, covers PEP as well as the Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans and some private insurance plans. PEP is not covered by our state family planning program, Family PACT (FPACT), though FPACT may cover some costs associated with the visit.

Where can I go for more information?

Planned Parenthood Northern California health centers offer:

    • Information on PEP
    • Health care services, including screening and testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
    • Supplies like condoms and lubrication
    • PEP medication

PrEP

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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. When PrEP is combined with condoms and other prevention methods it works even better.

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.

What else should I know?

  • PrEP may not start working right away. Talk to your doctor or nurse about when it might start working for you.
  • You will need an HIV test before starting PrEP and every 3 months.
  • You will need other tests before you start and every 3 to 6 months while you are on PrEP.
  • You will need to schedule a follow-up appointment so we can check how you are doing on PrEP. You should return at any time if you have problems while taking it.
  • You will receive advice about ways to help you take PrEP every day so that it has the best chance to help you avoid HIV.
  • You should be aware of some of the symptoms of new HIV infection: fever or flu-like illness, swollen glands, a rash, a sore throat, mouth sores, nausea and diarrhea, and muscle pain. If you have these symptoms, you should see your doctor or nurse.

How do I know if PrEP is right for me?

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 many insurance programs. If you do not have insurance, Planned Parenthood can direct you to a medication assistance program that can provide PrEP for FREE.

Where can I go for more information?

Planned Parenthood Northern California health centers offer:

    • Information on PrEP
    • Health care services, including screening and testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
    • Supplies like condoms and lubrication
    • Prescription for PrEP medication
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PEP and PrEP