Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, Get the facts about this HIV Prevention Tool.
This is going to be the first in a series of articles about PrEP or Pre Exposure Prophylaxis. There has been a huge growth in the number of people utilizing PrEP as part of there HIV Prevention arsenal.
First, What is PrEP?
PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, in another words, you taken a drug before you are exposed to to something or someone which may infect you. There are many clinical studies that show that HIV –neative people who take the drug Truvada for PrEP every day can possibly cut their risk of contracting HIV by 92% or more. These results are consistent for all genders and for both vaginal and anal intercourse.The US FDA approved Truvada for prophylactic use in July of 2012 for adults at high risk for sexual transmission of HIV.
Other things that you need to know before making the decision to go on PrEP, is that it is not just about taking a pill every day. You will need to see your healthcare provider regularly (at least every 3 months) for labs, routine testing and HIV Testing. This means many more doctor visits, medication refills, copays and attention to your HIV prevention regimen.
Should I consider PrEP?
Questions to think about before considering Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.
- Are you in a mixed status couple? (One partner positive and one partner negative)
- Have you been the receptive partner in condomless sexual behavior with someone who is positive or whose status was unknown to you?
- Have you been treated with Post- Exposure Prophylaxis more than once in the past year or been treated for a non-oral STD?
If the answer is yes for any of these questions PrEP may be right for you.
PrEP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is not right for you if:
- You don’t know your status.
- You are HIV positive (Truvada is not a complete treatment for people living with HIV)
- Have symptoms of possible acute HIV infection. These symptoms are similar to the flu.
- Don’t have access to routine HIV and STD testing, prevention, care and counseling along with Truvada.
- Are not able to keep up with the daily Truvada regimen.
- Are only planning to take it for short periods such as a weekend party.
- Have decreased kidney health or kidney disease.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series where we will talk about how Truvada works and the side effects.
For more information about PrEP visit the CDC Website by following the link below.