PrEP is a pill (Truvada) that can be taken once a day to greatly reduce your chances of getting HIV if exposed to the virus. If taken as directed, PrEP can reduce your risk of getting HIV by more than 90%.
PrEP WILL NOT protect you from STIs, like syphilis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia, so using a condom while on PrEP is advised.
If prescribed PrEP, individuals must follow up with a provider every 3 months to undergo screenings to ensure a negative result and assess any other issues related to Truvada's side effects. All though side effects are minimum, the provider should monitor the patient throughout the time the patient is taking Truvada.
- Taking PrEP once a day has shown to reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. Daily PrEP use can also reduce HIV among individuals who inject drugs by more than 70%.
- In clinical trials, some individuals experienced early side effects like an upset stomach or loss of appetite. These side effects were mild and went away within the first month. During the study, no serious side effect was observed.
- The CDC recommends PrEP for individuals who are HIV negative who may be at risk of being exposed. You should contact your medical provider if you are at risk for HIV.
- You should not stop using condoms because you are taking PrEP. If PrEP is taken daily, it offers a lot of protection against HIV infection, but not 100%. Condoms also offer a lot of protection against HIV infection if they are used correctly every time you have sex, but not 100%. PrEP medications don’t give you any protection from other infections you can get during sex, but condoms do. So you will get the most protection from HIV and other sexual infections if you consistently take PrEP medication and consistently use condoms during sex.
- PrEP is covered by most insurance providers. If you do not have insurance or are unable to afford the co-pay
For more information on PrEP or for all other inquiries, email us at PrEPMeSC@dhec.sc.gov