Let’s talk about PrEP, Baby! But before we can… what is PrEP?
PrEP is one pill, taken once a day that will prevent you from becoming HIV+ by over 90%. We know this: PrEP works when you take it, it can’t work if you don’t.
What is PrEP? The long version:
PrEP is a bio-medical (fancy way for saying that your doctor prescribes you medicine) HIV prevention strategy. Currently, we use a medication called Truvada (tenofovir 200mg/ emtricitabine 300mg) as PrEP for HIV.
Truvada is a very well tolerated medication with minimal side effects that doctors have been using over 10 years to treat HIV+ people with great success. In 2012, after several large-scale research trials, Truvada for PrEP was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as the first medication to prevention HIV acquisition.
Should you take PrEP?
Truvada for PrEP has been approved for ALL people- men, women, transfolks- at risk of acquiring HIV, which means that if you live in Philadelphia and are having sex, you might be at risk. We encourage everyone to talk with your healthcare provider to see if PrEP might be right for you.
I think I want to start PrEP…
You’re in the right place! The Y-HEP Health Center is home to one of the largest PrEP programs in the Philadelphia area.
In order to be prescribed PrEP, patients need to do a few things:
- A quick visit with one of our clinicians to review their basic health and talk more about the medication.
- Prior to starting the medication we need to complete some blood work- this ensures that you are HIV-negative prior to starting on PrEP and that we can monitor your overall health while on the medication
- Visit us every month or every 3 months (depending on what’s right for you) to complete an HIV test.
Our team can support you in getting free or low-cost medication through a patient assistance program or co-pay card.