PrEP

What is PrEP?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as an HIV prevention strategy. Taking PrEP medication as prescribed reduces the risk of getting HIV via sexual contact by about 99% and reduces the risk of getting HIV by at least 74% among persons who inject drugs (PWID). Two medications, Truvada®external icon (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) and Descovy®external icon (emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide) are approved for daily use as HIV PrEP.

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

Your medical provider will talk with you about your situation to figure out if PrEP is right for you. It’s important to be honest so you can get the best health care for you — doctors, nurses, and pharmacist are there to help, not judge. The more accurate information they have, the better they can help you.

PrEP isn’t the same thing as PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). PEP is a short-term treatment for people who’ve already been exposed to HIV within the past 72 hours. PrEP is an ongoing daily pill for people who may be exposed to HIV in the future.

Take the readiness quiz below to see if PrEP is right for you. The Stigma Project- Is PrEP Right for Me?

How effective is PrEP?

If you use it correctly, PrEP can lower your chances of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. And using condoms and PrEP together helps you stay even safer. 

It’s really important to take PrEP every day. PrEP doesn’t work as well if you skip pills. If you don’t take it every day, there might not be enough medicine in your body to block HIV.

PrEP doesn’t prevent other sexually transmitted infections, like gonorrhea and chlamydia. So use condoms along with PrEP to help you avoid other STDs and give you extra protection against HIV.

What are the side effects of PrEP?

PrEP is very safe. No serious problems have been reported in people who are taking PrEP.

PrEP may cause side effects like nausea, loss of appetite, and headaches. These side effects aren’t dangerous and they usually get better with time, once your body gets used to PrEP. Most people on PrEP have no side effects at all.

If you do have side effects that bother you and don’t go away, talk with your doctor or nurse. They can help you figure out ways to deal with side effects and make sure everything’s ok.

How do I get PrEP?

You can get PrEP from health clinics, local health departments, doctors’ offices, and pharmacists’ offices (Updated 2021 – SB 325).

Your medical provider will talk with you about the sex you have, the protection you use, and your medical history to see if PrEP is right for you. They’ll also give you tests for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and other STDs. And they’ll test your kidneys to make sure they’re working well.

Some nurses and doctors don’t know about PrEP, or they don’t want to prescribe it because they don’t have all the facts about PrEP. Please refer them to the following pages:

  • Comprehensive guidelines for prescribing PrEP have been published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in A Clinical Practice Guidelinepdf icon,[1] including a Clinical Providers’ Supplementpdf icon.[2]
    • The Clinical Providers’ Supplement contains additional tools for clinicians providing PrEP, such as a patient/provider checklist, patient information sheets, provider information sheets, a risk incidence assessment, supplemental counseling information, billing codes, and practice quality measures.
    •  If questions arise or if prescribing advice is needed, clinicians should consult the National Clinicians Consultation Center PrEP Line @ 1-855-448-7737(9:00 AM – 8:00 PM EST).
  • Southern Nevada Health District PrEPing for Change
    • Call one of SNHD PrEP Navigators at (702) 759-1381 and Press 1 to be linked to a PrEP Navigator.

If you don’t have a doctor, or your regular doctor or nurse doesn’t prescribe PrEP, you still have options. There are also other organizations that can help you get and pay for PrEP. Greater than AIDS has a tool that can help you find PrEP near you.

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.

Federal Ready, Set, PrEP program: 855-447-8410

  • Covers cost of Truvada or Descovy
  • No income limit
  • Must be uninsured, no age restrictions
  • Resident of the U.S. or its territories; Social Security Number (SSN) not required
  • Ready, Set, PrEP is not used as a determination for public charge

Gilead Patient Support Program: 800-226-2056 

  • Covers cost of Truvada or Descovy
  • Income at or below 500% FPL but above 138% FPL (Medicaid eligible)
  • Resident of the U.S. or its territories; SSN not required; undocumented residents eligible
  • Must be uninsured or insurance denies coverage, or have Medicare with no Part D benefits
  • This program is not used as a determination for public charge

Gilead Copay Coupon Program: 800-226-2056 

  • Provides up to $7,200 per year for prescription copays
  • Any income level is eligible, no lifetime limit
  • Resident of the U.S. or its territories; SSN not required
  • Must be commercially insured, or have Medicare with no Part D benefits
  • This program is not used as a determination for public charge

Patient Advocate Foundation: 800-532-5274

  • Provides up to $7,500 per year for prescription copays
  • Income at or below 400% FPL plus cost of living index
  • U.S. resident; SSN or alien registration number required
  • Must have health insurance (includes Medicare)
  • This program is not used as a determination for public charge

PAN Foundation: 866-316-7263

  • Provides up to $3,400 per year for prescription copays
  • Income at or below 500% FPL
  • Resident of the U.S. or its territories; SSN not required but accepted
  • Medicare recipients only
  • This program is not used as a determination for public charge

Good Days: 877-968-7263

  • Provides up to $7,500 per year for prescription copays
  • U.S. resident, valid SSN required
  • Income at or below 500% FPL
  • Medicare, TRICARE, CHAMPVA, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield Federal
  • This program is not used as a determination for public charge

If you are uninsured, or insured and looking for a new health plan: PrEPcost.org

Learn more about understanding different insurance plans. 

Please also consider speaking to a PrEP Navigator with the Southern Nevada Health District – PrEPing for Change. They can help you navigate your options and provide you assistance with obtain access to PrEP.

Call one of SNHD PrEP Navigators at (702) 759-1381 and Press 1 to be linked to a PrEP Navigator.

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?

You can get PrEP from health clinics, local health departments, doctors’ offices, and pharmacists’ offices (Updated 2021 – SB 325).

Below are multiple known PrEP/PEP providers located throughout the state of Nevada. Please contact the facility prior to access to confirm the provider(s) are still offering PrEP/PEP at their facility. 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 or refer to the Greater than AIDS website that has additional tool that can help you find PrEP near you.

If you are a provider in Nevada and interested in being added as a PrEP provider on the End HIV Nevada Website, please contact the person(s) below.

Preston Nguyen Tang, MPH
HIV Prevention Coordinator and Data Analyst (Health Program Specialist I)
Phone: (702) 486-6488
Email: ptang@health.nv.gov

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.

Page lasted updated: 06/2021