What is PrEP, should I take PrEP, is PrEP dangerous?
What is PrEP
PrEP is a medication that is taken daily to prevent HIV. The acronym PrEP comes from Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. This means that people using this medication don’t have HIV and are using this medication to decrease their risk. The brand name of the medication is Truvada, and the generic is known as emtricitabine and tenofovir.
Why is it taken?
It is taken because studies have shown that the risk of getting an HIV infection is over 90% lower for people taking PrEP.
What are the common side effects of PrEP?
The most common side effects experienced are upset stomach, loss of appetite, headache, these tend to be mild and generally will go away.
How much does it cost?
If you are covered by one of the government drug programs this medication is covered. If you are not and don’t have private coverage you can apply for the Trillium Drug Program. We can assist you with filling out the forms and getting your coverage started. Also some private insurance plans require a special form filled out to receive coverage, we can help to get that filled out as well. Finally if you don’t qualify for coverage we can help to work out a payment plan that works for you.
What else can I do?
Taking PrEP will help lower your risk of HIV but not STI’s. Using condoms is always recommended to practice safe sex. Ensuring you also have your vaccinations up to date, this includes Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, as well as protection from HPV infection.
Where can I go if I have questions?
There are a few websites that have more information about PrEP
In Waterloo Region you can access PrEP thorugh ACCKWA and Sanguen health. Click this link for more details.
Use this website if you want to know more about the Trillium Drug Program