FAQs

What is PrEP?
PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a pill that helps protect you from contracting HIV from your sex partner(s). You might recognize it by its brand name, Truvada.
Who should use PrEP?
PrEP is recommended for people who test negative for HIV and are at a high risk of being exposed to HIV – either through sexual contact or intravenous drug use.
What Does Taking PrEP Involve?
It means taking your pills daily, seeing your doctor every 2-3 months, filling your prescription regularly, and getting regularly tested for HIV and other STIs.
How effective is PrEP?
PrEP lowers the risk of getting HIV through sexual activity by 99%. It also lowers the risk of getting HIV through intravenous drug use by 74%.
What are the side effects of taking PrEP?
PrEP can cause side effects like nausea, but they typically go away over time.
If I’m under the age of 18, can I take PrEP?
In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded its original approval of PrEP to include adolescents (aged 13-17) who weigh at least 77 pounds.
If I’m not having sex right now, should I still take PrEP?
If you’ve been taking PrEP for a long period and you’re on a temporary break from sex, you shouldn’t stop taking PrEP unless you’ve discussed it with your doctor first.
How do I get PrEP?
PrEP has to be prescribed by your doctor and picked up at the pharmacy. In Washington State, there are people, PrEP Navigators, which can help you find and talk to a doctor about PrEP.
How should I talk to my doctor about PrEP?
Tell them you’ve heard or read about this HIV prevention method that is highly effective. If they don’t seem willing to discuss PrEP with you, find another health care provider who is respectful, knowledgeable, and ready to listen to you.
How much does PrEP cost?
PrEP is covered at no cost by Washington Medicaid. Financial Assistance Programs to help pay for PrEP and PrEP services are available for people who are HIV negative and are interested in or prescribed PrEP. In Washington State, there are people, PrEP Navigators, who can help you find and talk to a doctor about PrEP.
How is PrEP different from PEP?
PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is for people who are at ongoing risk for HIV exposure. PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) is for people who think they have recently been exposed to HIV during sex or through sharing needles for drug use.
If I start taking PrEP, will I still have to use condoms?
While PrEP is effective at helping prevent HIV, it does not protect against STDs like gonorrhea or syphilis. Therefore, most doctors recommend using both.
If I decide to get on PrEP, should I tell my sex partner(s)?
That decision is entirely yours to make. Some people choose to keep that information to themselves, while others choose to discuss it with their partners and friends. Your body, your call.
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