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Your 13 Questions about PrEP Answered

  May 21, 2019  |    #Live Fabulously

Get your questions about PrEP answered

If you’re nervous about contracting HIV, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). What does the drug do? Who should be taking PrEP may be your solution? Before taking it, get all your questions about PrEP answered.

Listen to get all your questions about PrEP answered:

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on PrEP

Megan Canon is the Biomedical Intervention Coordinator with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the director of the state’s Proud to be PrEPPED Campaign. Prior to CDPHE, Megan served as the PrEP Program Coordinator for the Houston Health Department and the Please PrEP Me Project Consultant for HIVE. A dedicated public health leader, Megan is committed to helping educate communities to make informed decisions about their health needs.

Megan joins us to get all your questions about Prep answered, explaining who makes a good candidate for the HIV-prevention drug, TRUVADA, and how long it takes to start working. She addresses the issue of finding a PrEP-friendly provider and leveraging health insurance and financial assistance programs to access the medication. Listen in as Megan answers your questions about taking PrEP to prevent HIV and learn whether or not PrEP is right for you!

If you take PrEP consistently, every single day as prescribed, it can reduce your risk of getting infected with HIV by more than 90%. - Megan CanonClick To Tweet

The 13 questions about PrEP answered

1. The fundamentals of pre-exposure prophylaxis

  • New HIV prevention strategy
  • TRUVADA only approved brand thus far

2. Who makes a good candidate for PrEP

  • Gay, bisexual men + anyone in mixed HIV status relationship
  • Transgender individuals and people who inject drugs
  • Anyone at high risk of contracting HIV

3. The effectiveness of PrEP (when taken consistently)

  • Reduces risk of contracting HIV by > 90%
  • Some studies show 99% reduced risk

4. How long it takes for PrEP to start working

  • Take for one week before anal sex
  • Take for three weeks before vaginal sex
  • Take for 20 days before injectable drugs

5. How familiar the medical community is with PrEP

  • Anyone who can write prescription can prescribe PrEP
  • Visit website for list of PrEP-friendly providers

6. Questions to ask in choosing a healthcare provider for PrEP

  • Do I feel comfortable talking to them about my sexual health?
  • Are they knowledgeable about HIV and PrEP

7. The health insurance plans that cover PrEP

  • Most private health insurance plans
  • Medicaid, Medicare and TRICARE

8. Additional financial assistance programs and resources for PrEP access

9. How PrEP might influence your decision to use condoms

  • Only protects against HIV (not other STIs)

10. What it means to be ‘undetectable’

  • Virus under control, living healthy life
  • Chances of passing on HIV = zero
  • Status not permanent (weakened immune system)

11. What happens if you stop using PrEP

  • Take for 28 days past potential exposure
  • Miss more than three days, protection level decreases

12. The potential side effects of PrEP

  • Nausea, headaches and weight loss
  • Increased kidney function, reduced bone mineral density (rare)

13. The fundamentals of post-exposure prophylaxis

  • Take AFTER potential exposure to HIV
  • Available at ER, urgent care or through provider
  • Only take PEP if NOT on PrEP

Resources for PrEP 

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