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QuestionPrEP


Is PrEP right for me? Who is PrEP meant for?

PrEP is not the right fit for everyone but may be useful for men, women, and transwomen who are at risk for HIV infection through sex and injecting drug use and okay with the idea of taking a daily pill to prevent HIV.

If you can answer yes to any of the questions below, then PrEP may be one HIV prevention strategy to consider.

  • Do you use condoms sometimes or not at all?
  • Do you get often get STIs in your butt?
  • Do you often get STIs in your vagina?
  • Have you taken post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) more than once in the past year?
  • Are you in a serodiscordant relationship, where your sexual partner is HIV positive and you are HIV negative?
  • Are you in an open relationship or having anal and/or vaginal sex with multiple partners?
  • Are you having sex with someone whose HIV status you don’t know?
  • Are you having sex with someone in a city or region where the HIV prevalence is high—that is, where there are large numbers of people living with HIV?

 

If I use PrEP, do I have to use condoms?

We’re not here to be the condom police and dictate your sex life. To answer this question, it really depends on what you and your partner want and need that will determine whether you “have” to use condoms. There are many options available now to prevent HIV. Who doesn’t love options? Of course, just like condoms, PrEP only works if you use it.

If you use PrEP consistently and correctly, it is 92%–99% effective in reducing your HIV risk, whether you use a condom or not. PrEP does not protect against STIs, like gonorrhea, Chlamydia, or syphilis, and does not prevent pregnancy. (Condoms do protect against HIV, STIs, and pregnancy.)

Condoms have been and continue to be an effective tool in reducing HIV risk, but we know that many people are already not using condoms each and every time they have sex. PrEP is an additional tool to consider for HIV prevention.

 

Once you start using PrEP, do you have to use PrEP forever?

No. You can discontinue using PrEP whenever you decide the protection it offers is no longer necessary, if you experience complications related to PrEP, or if you cannot manage to take a pill daily. However, it is advised that you continue taking PrEP for one month following your last possible exposure to HIV.

 

What are the long-term effects of taking Truvada for PrEP?

As of right now, we do not know the long-term effects of taking Truvada for PrEP beyond reducing your risk of HIV. It is important to work with your doctor to monitor any potential long-term effects.

For people who are living with HIV and taking Truvada for long-term HIV treatment, there are concerns about increased kidney function and decreased bone mineral density.