One pill, once a day, everyday, to decrease the risk of getting HIV.
What is PrEP?
PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. Prophylaxis (pro-fil-ak-sis) means to prevent or control spread of an infection or disease. PrEP is used to prevent HIV infection from taking hold if you are exposed to the virus. This is done by taking a pill that contains two HIV medications every day. These are some of the same medicines used in people who are already infected.
How well does PrEP Work?
In several studies of PrEP, the risk of getting HIV infection was much lower —up to 92% lower — for those who took the medicines consistently than for those who didn’t. PrEP needs
to be taken EVERY day without missing doses in order to work. While taking the medication, it works to block pathways that HIV uses to set up an infection. If you stop taking it or miss doses, you are not protected.
Should I Consider Taking PrEP?
- Think about PrEP if you are a man or woman who sometimes has sex without a condom, especially if you have a sex partner who has HIV infection.
- Consider PrEP if you don’t know whether your partner has HIV infection but your partner is at risk (for example, your partner injects drugs or is having sex with other people in addition to you).
- If your partner has HIV infection, PrEP may be an option to help keep you from getting HIV infection while you try to get pregnant, during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.
How Do I Get PrEP?
In order to begin taking PrEP, you will need to see a medical provider and have some tests done. The Durham County Department of Public Health provides FREE testing for HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and viral hepatitis which is required before starting PrEP. You will first need to schedule an appointment with the Durham County Department of Public Health Adult Health clinic by calling (919) 560-8819. You can also call the Duke Health PrEP clinic to schedule an appointment (919) 620-5300.
Where Can I Get More Information About PrEP?