How to Prevent HIV
What is PrEP?
Pre-exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP is a medication that can help prevent a person who has been exposed to the HIV virus from contracting the disease. It is a preventive medication that is prescribed by a doctor and taken on a regular basis.
How Does PrEP Work?
An individual being treated with PrEP will need to take one pill daily, and needs to be taking PrEP consistently for at least one week before it will be effective in preventing HIV. PrEP can be stopped and started, but will only provide protection while it’s being actively taken by an individual.
Who Needs PrEP?
If you are in a long term monogamous relationship with your partner and know they are clean (maybe you’ve been tested together recently), you may not need to worry about PrEP. However if, like many other people, you are sexually active and are even slightly concerned you may be exposed, you need to consider PrEP. Any person, regardless of gender identity or sexuality, can be exposed to and contract HIV.
How do you get on PrEP?
See if PrEP is covered by your insurance
If you have medical insurance, look into your plan and see if they cover the PrEP medication, if you are uninsured you may be able to get coverage through the Affordable Care Act (obamacarefacts.com/state-health-insurance-exchange/).
Find a Medical Provider
If your current provider is unsure of whether or not they’re willing to prescribe PrEP, you can ask them to review the prescribing guidelines and information provided by the CDC (www.cdc.gov/hiv/prevention/research/prep/). If your current medical provider is unwilling to prescribe PrEP you can ask a.l.p.h.a. for a referral to a doctor willing to consider PrEP treatment, or look for a doctor yourself at www.accesstoprep.org.
Visit your doctor and get bloodwork done
Before prescribing PrEP, and during the course of treatment, you will need to get blood work done to ensure you are HIV negative among other concerns. Some of the testing can be arranged through a.l.p.h.a.(testing).
Pick Up Your Medication and Take as Prescribed
Now that you have had your necessary doctors visits and have been identified as a candidate for PrEP treatment it’s time to pick up the medication and protect yourself.
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