Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP for short, is a medication that has been proven to be highly effective in preventing the transmission of HIV. If taken correctly, it can reduce the risk of getting infected by up to 99%. In this article, we will discuss the top 15 things you need to know about PrEP.
1. What is PrEP?
PrEP is a daily medication that reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex and injection drug use.
2. How does it work?
The medication contains two antiretroviral drugs that prevent HIV from replicating in your body if you are exposed to it.
3. Who should take PrEP?
If you are at high risk of contracting HIV through sexual contact or injecting drugs, then PrEP may be right for you.
4. How effective is it?
When taken consistently and correctly every day as prescribed by a healthcare provider, studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90% and by over 70% among those who inject drugs.
5. Is it safe?
PrEP has been approved by the FDA as a safe and effective way to prevent HIV infection when used as directed under medical supervision.
6. Does taking PrEP mean I don’t need condoms anymore?
While PrEP can significantly reduce your chances of becoming infected with HIV, it does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms provide additional protection against STIs and should still be used along with PrEP.
7. Can anyone get access to PrEp?
Yes! Anyone can access PrEp through their healthcare provider or local health department clinic regardless of insurance status.
8. How much does it cost?
The cost varies depending on insurance coverage; however, there are programs available for those without insurance or with limited income which cover all costs related to accessing and using PrEP.
9. Can I stop taking it once I start?
PrEP needs to be taken consistently in order to maintain its effectiveness. If you stop taking it, your protection against HIV will decrease.
10. Are there side effects?
Some people may experience mild side effects such as nausea or headache; however, these typically go away after a few weeks of use.
11. Is it easy to take?
Yes! PrEP is simply one pill taken orally each day at the same time.
12. How often do I need to see my healthcare provider while on PrEP?
You should see your healthcare provider every three months for check-ups and testing for HIV and other STIs while on PrEP.
13. Does using PrEp mean that HIV is no longer a serious issue?
No! While PrEP has been proven effective in preventing the transmission of HIV, it’s still important to continue practicing safe sex and getting tested regularly for STIs including HIV
14. What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember; however, if it’s already close to the time of your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule.
15. Where can I learn more about PrEP?
There are many resources available online including CDC.gov/PrEP and personal health care providers who can provide further information regarding eligibility and access requirements for this medication.
In conclusion, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEp) has revolutionized how we prevent new cases of HIV transmission from occurring across the globe by providing an effective way to reduce risk among those who engage in high-risk behaviors such as unprotected sex with multiple partners or sharing needles when injecting drugs into their bloodstream. With proper guidance from qualified professional medical personnel along with consistent adherence practices during administration periods- anyone can gain access into this life-saving treatment option which could potentially save millions more lives in the coming years.