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PrEP Consultation

PrEP / PEP

The Board of Health offers both PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) services to prevent HIV infection. The word “prophylaxis” means to prevent or control the spread of an infection or disease.

 

PrEP:
  • Is a medicine to reduce the risk of HIV infection for individuals who are at high risk for infection.
  • Is a daily pill or an alternate-month injection.

 

PEP:
  • Is for use when someone has had a possible or known exposure to HIV.
  • Needs to be started as soon as possible, but absolutely within 72 hours after exposure.
  • Is a pill that’s taken for 28 days.

 

Some insurance plans cover PrEP and PEP. Individuals without coverage may be eligible for services.

 

PrEP and PEP Q & A’s

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It’s a preventive medicine to reduce the risk of HIV infection for individuals who are at high risk for infection.

There are two daily oral medications:

  • Truvada® for people at risk through sex or injection drug use.
  • Descovy® for people assigned male at birth who are at risk through sex.

There is also an injection medication, Apretude®, which is injected every 60 days.

When taken consistently, PrEP can block the HIV virus from multiplying and causing an infection. It’s important to take PrEP as prescribed and in combination with other preventive measures, such as condom use, for maximum protection.

Yes, for the most effective protection, take oral PrEP daily. Consistent daily use maintains a high level of medication in your body to block the HIV virus.

Before starting PrEP, it’s important to discuss with your healthcare provider the supplements (including vitamins) and prescription and recreational drugs that you take. Some substances may interact with PrEP’s components. Open communication about all the substances you use is critical for ensuring your safety while taking PrEP.

When you start taking PrEP, there may be a period before it provides full protection. Discuss this with your provider.

It’s important to take PrEP regularly for it to be effective. If you stop taking PrEP the level of protection against HIV decreases. Discuss this with your provider.

Yes, like many medicines, PrEP can have side effects. Common side effects are nausea, headaches and fatigue, but these often go away over time. Very rarely does someone experience changes in kidney function and/or bone density.

It’s essential to discuss potential side effects with your healthcare provider before starting PrEP. Regular monitoring and follow-up appointments are necessary to address concerns and ensure your well-being. If you experience any unusual or severe side effects, inform your healthcare provider immediately.

No. PrEP is to be taken before a possible exposure to HIV. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is recommended when someone has had a possible or known exposure to HIV. PEP needs to be started as soon as possible, but absolutely within 72 hours after exposure.

If you have had a recent possible or known exposure to HIV, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly by going to an emergency room or by contacting your healthcare provider or the DeKalb County Board of Health’s PrEP/PEP Clinic.

For more information call

(404) 294-3700

PrEP Brochure