Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
What is PrEP?
There is an exciting new development in HIV prevention that puts another tool in the hands of HIV-negative people. It’s called Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for daily use that can help people stay HIV-negative. The pill is called Truvada, a two-drug combination in one pill.
Trillium Health is the leading Upstate New York health care provider for HIV prevention and PrEP. Our team of health professionals are devoted to providing seamless coordination of health care services to our patients.
Each patient is screened to see if PrEP is the right choice for them. Once our PrEP team of health professionals determine PrEP is a good fit, our PrEP patients meet with their provider every three months (90 days) for follow-up care that may involve:
- Blood tests
- HIV & STD screenings
- Assessment of any drug side effects
- A prescription refill
- A discussion of condom use and risk reduction
- Assessment and support for taking medication
PrEP is not a replacement for condoms and should be used in conjunction with risk reduction counseling, HIV testing, and STD testing and treatment.
Should I use PrEP?
Truvada has been approved to prevent infection in HIV negative adults (over age 18) who are at high risk for HIV infection through sexual contact.
Truvada for PrEP is recommended for:
- HIV negative men who have sex with men (i.e. gay, bisexual)
- Transgender people who have sex with men
- HIV negative heterosexual men and women who are in a relationship with an HIV positive partner
- HIV negative injection drug users
If one or more of the following apply...
- unprotected anal sex
- multiple partners
- an HIV positive partner
- no condom use
- history of STDs
- injection drug use (without new, sterile syringes)
- sex for money
...think about PrEP
People on PrEP should take the medication daily. Many people taking PrEP report little to no side effects. Missing a pill can lower the drug's chance of working properly. In addition to daily use, one or more of the following should be done to reduce the risk of HIV:
- Consistently use male or female condoms
- Reduce overall number of sexual partners
- Get tested regularly for HIV and other STDs and encourage sexual partners to get tested
- Talk openly and honestly with sexual partners about HIV status and about past and present sexual risk
Is PrEP affordable?
Trillium Health and the Pharmacy at Trillium Trillium Health will ensure every effort is made so you can afford to protect yourself. Medicaid and most insurance plans include coverage for Truvada as PrEP.
We offer insurance navigation and access to assistance programs that can make the drug more affordable. We will work with you to find an affordable solution.
Getting started on PrEP
1. Phone call with PrEP Specialist
Have a preliminary discussion to establish interest. Schedule a meeting with our PrEP Specialist. Call 1-585-454-PrEP (7737) to speak with a PrEP Specialist.
2. Meet with PrEP Specialist
Our PrEP specialist will speak with you about risk factors, do a rapid HIV test, schedule a meeting with a provider, and assess your insurance options. We work to make sure everyone can afford PrEP.
3. Meet with Provider
Your provider will do some blood work to check your kidney function. They will go over your medical history and talk about risk management. Then they will set up your 3 month follow-up and give you your prescription.
4. Follow up in 3 months.
Your provider will do a rapid HIV test and more blood work. They will talk with you about how being on PrEP has been working for you. If everything is going well, they’ll refill your prescription.
Our free smartphone app, MyPrEP, alerts you when it’s time to take your daily pill. It also keeps you on track with refills and appointments!
The Pharmacy at Trillium Health
The Pharmacy at Trillium Health pharmacists work together with Trillium Health’s providers to make sure our patients receive their medications in a timely fashion. Our pharmacy is stocked and ready to provide excellent customer service. Our app, RefillPro, is a free and secure tool that helps you manage your presciptions on the go!
For more information on PrEP at Trillium Health and a printable PDF, click here.
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