PrEP For A Healthy Life
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a daily medication offered to those at high risk of exposure to HIV. The pill form (Truvada) is a combination of two drugs, Tenofovir and Emtricitabine, that create a presence in the bloodstream to prevent HIV from establishing a permanent infection. An HIV-negative person takes Truvada to prevent infection of HIV because they engage in at-risk behavior or practices.
Here are some questions to consider when deciding if PrEP is right for you. If you answer “yes” to any of them, we recommend discussing PrEP further.
- Have you used condoms only sometimes or not at all?
- Have you had sex with someone whose HIV status you did not know?
- Have you shared needles or works for drugs, hormones, tattoos, etc?
- Do you use alcohol and/or drugs heavily, or does your sex partner(s)?
- Have you recently been treated for an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection)?
- Have you used PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) more than once in the past year?
Why take PrEP? Taken appropriately, PrEP reduces the risk of HIV infection from sex by more than 90%, or even more when combined with condoms or other prevention methods. Among people who inject drugs, PrEP reduces risk by more than 70%.
Is PrEP safe? Some people (about 1 out of 10) using PrEP reported possible side effects including nausea, cramping, dizziness, and headaches. Generally, these subside over time and no serious, life-threatening side effects have been reported.