PrEP: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis

What is PrEP?

  • PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a daily medicine that can reduce your chance of getting HIV.
  • PrEP can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body.
  • Daily PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. Among people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk by more than 70%.
  • Your risk of getting HIV from sex can be even lower if you combine PrEP with condoms and other prevention methods.
  • Truvada for PrEP is a prescription medicine that can be used to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection

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Is PrEP Right for you?
PrEP may benefit you if you are HIV-negative and ANY of the following apply to you:

1. You are a gay/bisexual man and...

    • have an HIV-positive partner
    • have multiple partners, a partner with multiple partners, or a partner whose HIV status is unknown and you also
      • have anal sex without a condom, or
      • recently had a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

2. You are a heterosexual and...

    • have an HIV-positive partner.
    • have multiple partners, a partner with multiple partners, or a partner whose HIV status is unknown -- and you also
      • don't always use a condom for sex with people who inject drugs or
      • don't always use a condom for sex with bisexual men.

3. You inject drugs and...

    • share needles or equipment to inject drugs
    • recently went to a drug treatment program
    • are at risk for getting HIV from sex

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How Can You Start PrEP?

PrEP can be prescribed only by a health care provider

  1. Make an appointment with a Primary Care Provider to discuss if PrEP (Truvada) is the right HIV prevention strategy for you by calling 517.353.4660
  2. If PrEP may be an option for you, your health care provider will...
    • place an order for an HIV test before beginning PrEP to be sure you don't already have HIV
    • repeat HIV tests, prescription refills, and follow-ups every 3 months
    • address any symptoms while taking PrEP that become severe or don't go away

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How long do you need to take PrEP?

You must take PrEP daily for it to work. But there are several reasons people stop taking PrEP. For example:

  • If your risk of getting HIV infection becomes low because of changes in your life, you may want to stop taking PrEP.
  • If you find you don’t want to take a pill every day or often forget to take your pills, other ways of protecting yourself from HIV infection may work better for you.
  • If you have side effects from the medicine that are interfering with your life, or if blood tests show that your body is reacting to PrEP in unsafe ways, your provider may stop prescribing PrEP for you.

You should discuss this question with your health care provider.

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How Can You Get Help To Pay For PrEP?

  • Most private and State Medicaid plans cover PrEP. If you are on Medicaid, check with your benefits counselor.
  • If you have health insurance, you may receive co-pay assistance from drug manufacturers or patient advocacy foundations.
  • If you are without medical insurance, consider enrolling in an insurance marketplace, manufacturer patient assistance program or your state's Medicaid plan, if you are eligible for it.
  • Learn more about paying for PrEP here.
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