HIV Treatment and PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)
What is PrEP?
PrEP stands for for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. It is a medicine that reduces your chances of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. When taken prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV.
There are different types of PrEP.
PrEP can be pills or shots.
The two pills approved for use as PrEP is Truvada and Descovy.
- Truvada is for individuals at risk through sex or injection use.
- Descovy is for individuals at risk through sex. Descovy is not for people assigned female at birth who are at risk for HIV through receptive vaginal sex.
Apretude is the only shot approved for use as PrEP. Apretude is for people at risk through sex who weight at least 77 pounds.
Is PrEP safe?
- PrEP is safe, but some experience side effects like diarrhea, nausea, headache, fatigue, and stomach pain. The side effects usually go away over time.
- Talk with your health care provider about any side effects that are severe and do not go away.
If you are considering PrEP but want to know more, testing for HIV is the right step. Testing for HIV at least once is a step into the right direction. You can test more frequently if there is an ongoing risk. To test for HIV, contact or your healthcare provider or visit GetTested.cdc.gov to find a testing site near you. Solano Public Health also provides Rapid Oral or Fingerstick HIV Antibody testing. To schedule an appointment for a confidential rapid test with Solano Public Health, call or text 707 398 8317 (HIV Confidential Line) OR call the Communicable Disease Main line 707 784 8001.
With the proper treatment, individuals living with HIV can live a longer and healthier life. By taking the daily treatment as prescribed, people can maintain an undetectable amount of the virus in their blood. People living with HIV with an undetectable viral load have no risk of transmitting HIV to their sexual partners.
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