PrEP (short for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a pill that protects you from getting HIV. Truvada is the brand name for the medication used as PrEP. For many years, HIV positive people have been using Truvada, along with other medications, to fight off the virus and stay healthy. Now it is being used to help keep people HIV negative. Truvada is one of the medications included in HIV treatment and a way to prevent it.
PrEP is a pill that you take once a day. It may take a few weeks to achieve maximum protection (one week for men and three weeks for women). As long as you keep taking PrEP, you are protected.
For HIV negative people who take it every day, PrEP can lower the risk of getting HIV by 92% - 99%.
PrEP, or Truvada, has been shown to be very safe. However, like with any medication there may be minor side effects. Some people get an upset stomach when they first start taking it.
To get PrEP you have to see a doctor and be given a prescription. While you are using PrEP, you will need to check in with your doctor every 3 months.
Click here to find a provider that prescribes PrEP.
The cost of PrEP includes the cost of the medication, the medical appointments and the lab tests. There are a number of ways to afford PrEP: through your private insurance or Medicaid. Gilead --the company that makes Truvada-- also has a program to help cover the cost if you are eligible. New York State DOH offers a PrEP Assistance Program (PrEP-AP).
Most adults can safely use PrEP, but a doctor will need to determine if there is any reason why you should not take it. PrEP is only for people who are HIV negative.
PrEP is recommended for individuals with high risk for HIV exposure. Of course, everyone’s situation is different. Consider your health, the kinds of sex you have, and your partners. Learn all you can about PrEP. Get some advice from a doctor or healthcare professional.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), recommend using condoms along with the PrEP medication. Whether you use condoms always, sometimes, or never, PrEP will help protect you from HIV.
Using condoms is important to protect you from STDs. Using Truvada and condoms together provides the best protection.