PrEP Questions and Answers

How much does PrEP cost?

PrEP is covered by many insurance plans, including Medicaid. If you are uninsured, there is an assistance program that can help you get PrEP for low or no cost. more info

If you are insured, but have a high co-pay, there is an assistance program that can help pay that co-pay. more info

What are the side effects of PrEP?

PrEP is a mild medicine with very few side effects. Some people may experience a short period of side effects when they first start taking PrEP. Reported side effects include nausea, diarrhea and headaches. These symptoms will go away after your body adjusts to the medicine. Ask your doctor about ways to manage any possible side effects.

I take other medicine, can I still take PrEP?

Yes! PrEP is a mild medicine and can be taken with most other medications. Talk to your doctor about all medicines you are taking, including vitamins.

Does PrEP protect me against other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)?

No. It is important to continue to protect yourself from other infections, like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis.

How does PrEP prevent HIV?

PrEP creates a protective shield around the cells that HIV targets. So, if HIV enters your body, it will be unable to get inside the cell that it needs to make copies of itself and establish infection.

Will PrEP cure me of my HIV?

No. PrEP is used to prevent HIV infection in the first place. If you are HIV + there are many medicines available to keep you healthy and to keep the HIV virus low in your body. If you are not seeing a doctor for HIV treatment, please call us at 919-560-8819 and we can help you get an appointment for these lifesaving medicines. If you take your medicine the way you are supposed to, you can reduce the chance of passing the virus to your partner and you can stay healthy.

How long does it take for PrEP to protect me from HIV?

Some studies suggest that if you take PrEP every day, you will be protected from HIV in your blood at 20 days, in your rectal tissue at about 7 days, and in vaginal tissues at about 20 days.

Do I have to take PrEP for the rest of my life?

That is up to you. PrEP is an amazing prevention tool that can be used during times in your life where you may have more than one partner or have occasional unprotected sexual encounters. It should be taken every day during the times when you may be at risk for catching HIV. You can stop taking PrEP at any time that you want, but you will not be protected from HIV anymore and will need to use other methods to protect yourself.