Condoms, PrEP and PEP are preventive techniques that have proven extremely successful in preventing HIV.
PrEP is short for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, a once-daily pill that reduces the risk of acquiring HIV. It is a once-daily pill regimen that can help you stay HIV-negative. When taken as prescribed, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of getting HIV by 99% from sexual intercourse. It is an FDA-approved prescription medication and is usually sold under the brand name Truvada.
When taken as prescribed, PrEP blocks the virus from making copies of itself and spreading throughout the body. PrEP protects against HIV and does not protect against other STIs.
While more research is needed, PrEP appears to work for those taking gender-affirming hormones. This makes it one of the most important methods of prevention for LGBTQ+ people especially gay and bisexual men or men who have sex with men, as they are still being diagnosed with HIV at alarmingly high rates.
PrEP is safe and generally well-tolerated. Visit your local health care provider to see if PrEP is right for you.
PEP stands for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis. It is an HIV prevention strategy that involves taking HIV medications immediately after a single high-risk event, such as condomless sex with a partner whose HIV status you do not know.
Two to three drugs are usually prescribed as part of a PEP regimen, and they must be taken as prescribed for 28 consecutive days. While PEP has been shown to work, it is not 100% effective. Taking it does not guarantee that someone exposed to HIV will not acquire the virus.
Any licensed health care provider can prescribe PEP. Some of the places you can seek PEP include doctors’ offices, emergency rooms, urgent care or local HIV clinics, as well as community-based organizations.
Condoms, lube, regular HIV/STI testing, talking to sexual partners and getting rid of old syringes are useful tools for keeping you and your partner healthy. You can also locate a syringe exchange location in your area here.
Hay miles de organizaciones locales que trabajan para frenar las ITS y el VIH. Conéctese con ellas para encontrar los servicios que necesita.