Frequently Asked Questions:
What is PrEP?
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a daily drug used to prevent HIV infection in HIV-negative people. PrEP is well-studied and highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV. When taken daily, PrEP can decrease the risk of sexual transmission of HIV by more than 90%.
How does PrEP work?
When taken consistently, PrEP accumulates within the bloodstream, genitals (penis and vagina), and rectum (anus). High levels of PrEP in the body can then prevent HIV from entering and multiplying within the cells when someone is exposed to the virus.
Should I only take PrEP before having sex?
Clinical trials have shown that PrEP is most effective in preventing HIV infection when taken daily.
Can PrEP help prevent the transmission of other STDs/STIs?
PrEP does not provide protection against other STDs, like syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. To offer full protection against other STDs, PrEP can be used with other prevention tools, such as condoms.
Is PrEP safe?
Yes. PrEP is well-studied with few side effects and was approved by the FDA in 2012. Common side effects associated with PrEP include short-term nausea, headache, and other intestinal symptoms.
Can I afford PrEP?
There are financial resources available for those who are interested in starting PrEP. These resources help to make appointments and prescriptions affordable.
How much does PrEP cost?
PrEP is covered by many insurance plans, including Medicaid. If you are uninsured, there is an assistance program that can help you get PrEP for low or no cost.
If you are insured, but have a high co-pay, there is an assistance program that can help pay that co-pay.
Click here for more information on financial assistance programs.
What are the side effects of PrEP?
PrEP is a mild medicine with very few side effects. Some people may experience a short period of side effects when they first start taking PrEP. Reported side effects include nausea, diarrhea and headaches. These symptoms will go away after your body adjusts to the medicine. Ask your doctor about ways to manage any possible side effects.
I take other medicines; can I still take PrEP?
Yes! PrEP is a mild medicine and can be taken with most other medications. Talk to your doctor about all medicines you are taking, including vitamins.