PrEP is a once-daily pill for people who do not have HIV to help them stay negative. Studies show when taken as prescribed it reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by 90% or more!
Most insurance plans cover PrEP and for those without insurance there are options.
Any doctor can prescribe PrEP, but not all are familiar with it. To find out if PrEP is right for you, connect with MASS today.
Answers to Commonly-Asked Questions about PrEP
HOW DOES PREP WORK?
PrEP is currently available as a once-daily pill. When taken as prescribed, it works by blocking HIV from spreading and taking hold in the body. PrEP must be taken for some time before it reaches maximum effectiveness.
WHAT IS PREP?
PrEP is a once-daily pill for people who do not have HIV to help them stay that way. Studies show that taking PrEP as prescribed reduces the risk of getting HIV through sex by 90 percent or more.PrEP is available by prescription in the U.S. under the brand name Truvada. Truvada was approved for use as PrEP in 2012. Truvada contains two drugs, tenofovir and emtricitabine, and was first approved in 2004 to treat HIV in combination with other medications.
There are studies of other forms of PrEP, such as a long-acting injection, that are in planning stages or underway. However, those options likely won’t start to become available for at least a few more years.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS PREP?
Highly effective. Studies have found that taking PrEP as prescribed reduces the risk of getting HIV through sex by 90 percent or more.In a major study of gay and bi men as well as trans women, daily PrEP use lowered their risk of HIV by an estimated 99 percent. Another study focusing on sex between men and women showed PrEP reduced the risk of getting HIV by at least 90 percent.
PrEP also reduces the risk of getting HIV through injection drug use; however, the data is less clear about how effective. A study of injection drug users found a 74 percent reduced risk of getting HIV among those who reported they were taking PrEP as prescribed and had at least a detectable amount of PrEP in their blood. The study was not able to say how frequently participants took PrEP. Consistent, daily use of PrEP is associated with increased effectiveness.
It is also important to understand that PrEP must be taken for some time before it reaches maximum effectiveness.
WHERE CAN I GET PREP?
You need a prescription. Any medical professional who can prescribe medications, including doctors and nurse practitioners, may prescribe PrEP.If you don’t have a regular health provider or they don’t know about or are reluctant to prescribe PrEP, there are organizations across the country that specialize in helping people get on PrEP. Part of the assistance these groups can provide is to help you figure out options for covering the costs of getting on PrEP, whether you have insurance or not.
HOW MUCH DOES PREP COST?
PrEP is covered by most insurance plans and should be covered by Medicaid and Medicare. There are financial assistance programs that may be able to help if you do not have insurance; or, if you have insurance, but need help with out-of-pocket costs. Many people wind up paying very little or nothing at all for PrEP.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS OF PREP?
Many people on PrEP report no or minimal side effects. Others may at first experience mild symptoms such as headache, abdominal pain and weight loss. These side effects tend to go away after about a month of being on PrEP. If you have any questions or concerns about side effects, consult your physician.
Do you have more questions? Contact MASS today and we can help answer your questions and help you navigate the process for getting PrEP.