PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a prescription medication taken daily to prevent HIV. When taken as prescribed and used along with other safe sex practices such as condoms and regular HIV/STI testing, PrEP reduces the risk of contracting HIV up to 99 percent.
What is PrEP?
Is PrEP right for me?
PrEP is right for anyone who is sexually active and HIV negative, regardless of age, gender identity or sexual orientation. People can have many reasons for their decision to start PrEP, and assessing your individual risk of getting HIV is the first step to making that decision.
Why should I consider PrEP?
PrEP allows you to take control of your sexual health. Many people on the medication feel more comfortable knowing they are protecting themselves from HIV. It is safe, effective, accessible and affordable for most people, thanks to patient assistance programs and insurance coverage.
More questions? More answers!
If you are HIV negative, some things that may place you at high risk for HIV are having sex with someone who is HIV positive; having sex within a social network where HIV is more common; having had sex without condoms; having multiple sexual partners; and, exchanging sex for drugs, food, money or a place to live.
In clinical studies for TRUVADA for PrEP, the most common side effects were headache (7%), abdominal pain (4%), and weight loss (3%). It is important to remember that most people do not report any side effects while taking PrEP and if they do, symptoms usually resolve in one week to a month. More serious side effects are related to kidney function and bone mineral density. Your provider will monitor you for side effects.
When taking PrEP you must be committed to taking the medication every day. When PrEP is started it takes up to seven days of taking it daily to reach high levels of HIV protection. If a daily dose is missed, the level of HIV protection can decrease. You must also commit to follow-up visits with one of our providers at least every three months to get tested for HIV and STIs, and to evaluate the need to continue PrEP. You will also receive a 3-month refill.
There are programs we offer that might make PrEP more affordable for you. These programs can offer financial assistance with co-pays, and medication and insurance costs. We can connect you with someone who can help navigate through your insurance plan, whether it is private or government, to help you better understand your insurance coverage, benefits and what to do if an insurance claim has been denied. Most private/commercial insurance plans, as well as Medicaid, cover the cost of Truvada for PrEP. If you don’t have insurance, we can help with that, too. When calculating your cost for PrEP, remember there is also costs for follow-up visits and lab tests at least every three months.
At your first visit to discuss your interest in PrEP, you will be counseled on the risk factors for HIV, correct usage of the medication, and whether or not it is right for you. If you decide PrEP is right for you, set up an appointment to receive a health exam by one of our providers. At that first appointment, you can expect to fill out paperwork, discuss the use of PrEP, get your vitals checked, have your blood drawn to test for HIV and other STIs, go through a health exam and at the end of the visit—based on the results from the tests—receive a prescription for PrEP you can fill at our pharmacy, or any pharmacy of your choice.
It is important to follow up regularly with a medical provider if you are on PrEP. It is not to be treated as a “morning-after pill,” or mistaken as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PrEP does not protect against gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, genital warts, herpes or hepatitis C. To get the most out of PrEP, take it as prescribed and at the same time every day. PrEP can be taken with or without food.
Are you ready to Stay PrEP'd Up?
Getting on PrEP is easy. Call or visit one of our locations today.
820 N. Plankinton Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53203
Monday - Friday
8:30am - 5:00pm
Diverse & Resilient
2439 N. Holton Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
12:30pm - 3:00pm
Keenan Health Center
3200 N. 36th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53216
11:00am - 3:30pm