PrEP

Did you know this July marks the 5 year anniversary of PrEP? Please join Prism Health and Cascade AIDS Project as we celebrate this incredible milestone in HIV prevention with the very first PrEP Awareness Month during July 2017!

Click here to learn more and download the PrEP Awareness Month Toolkit

What is PrEP?

Pre–Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, is the method of taking an HIV medication (Truvada) daily to prevent getting infected with HIV. The FDA approved Truvada for use as PrEP in 2012.

Studies show that PrEP is up to 99% effective when taken every single day. PrEP is another way to reduce your risk for HIV, along with talking about your status with your partners and consistently using condoms and lube.

Is PrEP right for me?

PrEP may be a good option if you want an effective way to prevent HIV transmission and add more peace of mind to your life. PrEP is best for times in your life when you are at higher risk for HIV, such as when you are having sex with multiple partners, are part of an open relationship, or have an HIV+ sex or injection partner.

If you are HIV-negative (HIV-), PrEP may be right if you…

  • Have one or more HIV+ sexual or injection partners.
  • Use condoms sometimes, rarely, or never.
  • Sometimes or never use condoms with at-risk partners.
  • Participate in sex work.

In addition, the following groups may have special considerations for PrEP:

For gay/bi men and trans people:

  • Have a recent STI diagnosis

For at-risk women:

  • History of inconsistent/no condom use with a partner known to be at substantial risk for HIV (i.e. a man who has sex with other men or a person who injects drugs)

For those who inject drugs:

  • Live in high HIV prevalence area or network
  • Have one or more HIV+ injecting partners
  • Share injection equipment (needles and works)

Being on PrEP doesn’t just mean taking a pill. PrEP is part of a prevention program involving taking medication every day and being screened for HIV and other STIs regularly. PrEP only protects against HIV. It does not prevent herpes, syphilis, any other STIs, or pregnancy.

Have questions about PrEP? Contact us at prep@cascadeaids.org, or 503.223.5907.

How do I get PrEP?

Truvada, the medication used as PrEP, is a prescription drug, so you have to go to a medical provider to get it. If your partner takes it, you cannot share. You must get your own prescription.

If you think PrEP may be right for you, here are a few tips for talking with your provider.

  • Be clear. Tell your provider that you’re interested in PrEP.
  • Ask questions! ­It’s your health, and you have a right to take charge of your own health decisions.
  • Don’t be shy. Give your medical provider all the details about your life that could be important to your health, especially your sexual health.
  • If your provider is unfamiliar with PrEP, don’t give up! Direct them to these pages from the CDC: cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/PrEPProviderSupplement2014.pdf, cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/guidelines/PrEPguidelines2014.pdf, or have them call the PrEP Support Hotline for Clinicians: 1.855.HIV.PrEP (1.855.448.7737) 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time.

Where can I get PrEP?

You can get PrEP right here at Prism Health.  Just all or email to make an appointment.  You can also download a list of local providers known to prescribe PrEP here: PrEP Provider List OR and WA

CAP has two full-time PrEP Coordinators who can help you get connected with PrEP! Contact us at prep@cascadeaids.org, or 503.223.5907 to learn more.

How do I pay for PrEP?

For individuals who are under-insured or who are worried they may not be able to afford the medication co-pays, Gilead provides both a patient assistance program and a medication co-pay card to help cover the cost of PrEP. For more information, visit: https://www.gileadadvancingaccess.com/financial-support or call 1-800-226-2056.

For residents of Washington, a PrEP Drug Assistance Program (PrEP DAP) is available. This program will cover the cost of PrEP for those who qualify.

Remember, you need to be seen by a medical provider and receive HIV and other lab tests, before being prescribed PrEP.

Whether you consider HIV PrEP or not, it is important to understand other ways to protect yourself including:

  • Using condoms and lube correctly and consistently.
  • Getting tested to know your status and your partner(s) status for certain, and getting tested every three months if you have multiple partners with whom you share any risk for HIV.
  • Getting tested regularly – and treated if needed – for other STIs, such as syphilis and gonorrhea, which increase your risk of acquiring HIV through unprotected anal, vaginal or oral sex.
  • Getting information and support to reduce drug use and sexual risk behavior.
  • Reducing your number of sexual partners.

For additional information check out www.prepwatch.org

Contact us at prep@cascadeaids.org, or 503.223.5907 to learn more.