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PrEP

Are you looking for a way to stay safe from HIV? You may want to consider PrEP, a once-a-day pill that helps people remain HIV negative. PrEP is highly effective and FDA-approved!

While PrEP does not protect against other STDs like syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea or herpes, it does help prevent HIV if taken correctly. 

We want to give you all the information you need about PrEP! If you don't see what you're looking for, contact us!

What is PrEP?

Pre = Before

Exposure = Coming into contact with

Prophylaxis = Something that prevents infection  

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a way to prevent HIV infection by taking a daily pill. When used correctly, PrEP prevents your chance of getting HIV by more than 90%. How long you are on PrEP depends on your personal preference. You could choose to use it for just a few months or for several years, depending on your circumstances. To remain safe from HIV while on PrEP, it is important to take the medication every day. 

More missed doses = less protection against HIV. 

How can I get PrEP?

All Philadelphia residents 18 and older are eligible to receive PrEP regardless of insurance status. If you are interested in PrEP, call 215-985-2437 and someone can help guide you through the process. 

Cost should not stop you from taking PrEP! When you speak to health representative at 215-985-2437, they can talk to you about cost. 

If you are younger than 18 and are interested in PrEP, call 215-985-2437 and you can speak to someone about your options. 

What can I expect if I decide to take it? 

At your first PrEP medical visit, you will have the opportunity to discuss your health care needs with the doctor and have blood work to make sure that PrEP is a good fit for you medically. A week or two later, you will return to review your lab results and get your first prescription. As long as you are on PrEP, you will see your doctor every three months for primary care follow-up and lab work to make sure your body is responding well to the medication.

#AskTheHIVDoc 5: Is PrEP Right for Me? (1:28)

 

How effective is PrEP?  

#AskTheHIVDoc 1: How Effective is PrEP? (1:16)

 

I think I may have been exposed to HIV. Is PrEP right for me?

PrEP only works when taken before the exposure, but there is another medication that can offer protection up to 72 hours after an exposure. This is called post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP.

PEP involves taking a combination of two HIV medicines for a period of 28 days. It is important to take the first dose of PEP within 72 hours of coming into contact with HIV, so be sure to get in touch right away.

You can walk in to the health center, emergency room or urgent care center closest to you to receive emergency PEP the same day. Read more about PEP here.

Can I get HIV while on PrEP?

No HIV prevention method is 100% effective. If you are on PrEP, and you take it every day as prescribed, and you use condoms for protection during sex, the chances are very slim.

You can be exposed to other STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis if you do not use condoms. 

Why should I use condoms if I am on PrEP?

PrEP does not offer 100% protection. Condoms do not offer 100% protection. Together, they offer better protection than either one alone. And remember, PrEP protects from HIV. There are other diseases transmitted through sex that are not prevented by PrEP and that are not curable, such as herpes and HPV (the virus that can cause warts or cancer). 

 

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