What is Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)?
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a way for people who are at risk of getting HIV to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill (brand name Truvada) contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) that are used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV. When used by people who are HIV negative, PrEP is very effective at preventing HIV infection when taken as directed.
Upstate's PrEP Program offers PrEP and primary care services to individuals who have identified themselves as at risk for contracting HIV. The PrEP health care team takes care of your medical needs and prescriptions related to PrEP. The program also helps with navigating insurance and pharmacy needs and works with you to support your efforts in taking great care of yourself! For more information, please call or text 315-571-0013.
Who should start PrEP?
For those at risk for HIV, PrEP can significantly reduce your risk if taken daily. If you think you are at risk for HIV and/or:
- You have had sex without condoms;
- You have more than one sexual partner;
- You have been diagnosed with an STI;
- Your partner has more than one sexual partner;
- You are unsure of the HIV status of a sexual partner;
- You have sex after using drugs or alcohol
You can make an appointment with one of our providers to discuss whether Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is right for you. To make an appointment please call or text 315-571-0013.
For more information, please go to the New York State HIV Guidelines for PrEP
How does it work?
Somebody who does not have HIV infection takes an antiretroviral pill (Truvada™) every day to keep an effective level of medicine in their system. If HIV exposure happens, the medicine stops the HIV from entering the cells and multiplying. This keeps the person HIV negative. People who use PrEP should commit to taking Truvada™ every day to keep an effective level of medicine in their system.
Is PrEP effective?
Yes! When taken every day as directed, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at risk for acquiring HIV by up to 99%. If a daily dose is missed, the level of HIV protection may decrease.
PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or pregnancy.
What is the difference between PrEP and PEP?
Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) means taking a medication before (that's the "Pre" part) you are exposed to HIV to help prevent HIV infection. PrEP medication is taken daily as long as you are at risk to help prevent HIV.
Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) means taking medications after (that's the "Post" part) you have been potentially exposed to HIV to help prevent HIV infection. PEP is taken daily for 28 days after possible HIV exposure. PEP should be started within 72 hours of the exposure to HIV and is considered a medical emergency. You should go to your local Emergency Room or participating Pharmacy to start PEP medication as soon as possible after the exposure.
Is PrEP covered by insurance?
Yes, most insurances cover PrEP services and medications. If you do not have insurance or if your insurance does not cover the total cost of services, New York State has a program to help pay for PrEP services. We have staff members who can help with payment/insurance questions and problems.
How do I sign up?
It’s easy! For more information or to set up an appointment, call or text 315-571-0013.