What is PrEP?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is when people at very high risk for acquiring HIV take specific HIV prevention medicines daily to lower their chances of getting infected. Truvada® (pronounced tru vá duh), is approved for daily use as PrEP to help prevent an HIV-negative person who weighs at least 35 kg (77 pounds) from getting HIV from a sexual or injection-drug-using partner who’s positive.
When taken every day, PrEP is safe and highly effective in preventing HIV infection. PrEP reaches maximum protection from HIV for receptive anal sex at about 7 days of daily use. For receptive vaginal sex and injection drug use, PrEP reaches maximum protection at about 20 days of daily use. No data are yet available about how long it takes to reach maximum protection for insertive anal or insertive vaginal sex.
Who should take PrEP?
PrEP is for people without HIV who are at high risk for getting it. PrEP is recommended for HIV-negative people who:
- are in an ongoing sexual relationship with someone who is HIV-positive
- are not in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-negative
- are gay or bisexual males who have had anal sex without using a condom or been diagnosed with an STD in the past 6 months
- are heterosexual men or women who do not regularly use condoms during sex with partners of unknown HIV status who are at substantial risk of HIV infection (for example, people who inject drugs or women who have bisexual male partners)
- exchange sex for money, food, housing and/or drugs
Take the readiness quiz below to see if PrEP is right for you. The Stigma Project- Is PrEP Right for Me?
What is required to take PrEP?
Truvada is a pill that must be taken daily to be effective. Missing a dose may reduce its effectiveness and can put you at risk for getting HIV. In addition, you must take an HIV test before beginning PrEP to be sure you don’t already have HIV as well as testing every three months while you’re taking it.
How can I pay for PrEP?
There are many costs that can be associated with PrEP, such as the regular doctors visits, the cost of labs, and the cost of the medication itself. However, many health insurance companies (including Medicaid) can cover the costs associated with PrEP and the medication. You should speak to your health insurance company directly for questions on coverage. There are additional resources available for both insured and uninsured people.
- Gilead Medication Assistance Program- If you have health insurance but your deductibles or co-pays are too high for you to pay, GILEAD also has a co-pay assistance program for this. Visit the GILEAD PrEP medication assistance website at http://www.truvada.com/truvada-patient-assistance for more information about their co-pay assistance program.
- Patient Access Network Foundation
- Patient Advocacy Foundation
- If you do not have health insurance, or your insurance will not cover PrEP, GILEAD, the company that makes Truvada, has patient assistance programs available for some patients. Visit the GILEAD PrEP medication assistance website at http://www.truvada.com/truvada-patient-assistance for more information about their patient assistance program.
Can I stop using condoms when I have sex if I take PrEP?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should not stop using condoms because you are taking PrEP. This is because PrEP does not protect against other STDs, like syphilis and gonorrhea.
Where can I find PrEP providers in my area?
There are multiple PrEP providers located throughout the state. Please see the map below for more information.
For a detailed list of PrEP providers in the state, please see here.
For more information on PrEP, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention PrEP page.
If you are a provider and interested on being added as a PrEP provider, please contact the person(s) below.
Preston Nguyen Tang, MPH
HIV Prevention Coordinator and Data Analyst (Health Program Specialist I)
Phone: (702) 486-6488
Think you have already been exposed to HIV?
Individuals who may have been exposed to HIV in the past 72 hours may be interested in post-exposure prophylaxis (or PEP). PEP is a 28-day pill prescription that when taken as prescribed, can help prevent HIV infection. Call your doctor if you think you need PEP, or go to your local emergency department or urgent care facility.