PrEP IS A DAILY PILL FOR HIV PREVENTION.

 
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PrEP (short for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a new way to prevent HIV. It’s a prescription medication that, when taken every day, greatly reduces your risk of getting HIV by blocking the virus.

If you are HIV-negative and at high risk of HIV exposure, taking PrEP can give you protection and peace of mind. 

PrEP does not protect against STIs like gonorrhea or syphilis, so you should keep using condoms to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

 
 

PrEP GIVES YOU PEACE OF MIND IN KNOWING YOU’RE PROTECTED AGAINST HIV—NO MATTER THE SITUATION.

 

If you are HIV-negative and at high risk of getting HIV, taking PrEP once a day can help you take control of your health. 

You might be at risk of getting HIV if:

  • You have more than one sex partner.
  • You do not regularly use condoms.
  • You are in an ongoing relationship with someone who has HIV.
  • You are not sure if your sex partner is HIV-positive.
  • You are a man who has anal sex with other men.
  • You are a gay or bisexual man who has been diagnosed with an STI in the past six months.
  • You have injected drugs in the past six months and have shared needles.

When taken every day as prescribed, PrEP greatly reduces your risk of getting HIV. PrEP does not protect against STIs like gonorrhea or syphilis, so you should keep using condoms to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.  

 
 

Are there any side effects associated with daily PrEP use?

Most PrEP users don’t experience side effects. In your first few weeks of taking PrEP, you might experience minor symptoms such as fatigue, headache, abdominal pain and weight loss. These side effects should go away on their own.

A small number of PrEP users might be at increased risk for kidney disease. While you’re taking PrEP, your doctor will monitor your kidney function with routine blood tests every three months.

For a comprehensive overview of all possible side effects, including those that are uncommon and rare, click here.



If I take PrEP, can I stop using condoms?

Because PrEP only protects against HIV, we strongly suggest that you use condoms to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms can help you prevent things that PrEP can’t—like pregnancy, or STIs like gonorrhea and syphilis.




I think I’ve been exposed to HIV. Can I start taking PrEP to prevent infection?

No. PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) can only prevent HIV when taken consistentlyBEFORE exposure. PrEP cannot be started as a method of treatment AFTER an event of HIV exposure (such as sex without a condom, needle-sharing drug use, or sexual assault).

PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) is the 28-day treatment regimen recommended for people who’ve been exposed to HIV. If you think you have been exposed to HIV, it is important that you start taking PEP as soon as possible. PEP is only effective is taking within 36 hours (a day and a half) of HIV exposure.

If you are exposed to HIV during a weekend, or you cannot make an appointment for the next day at Evergreen Health Services or with your primary care doctor, go to an emergency room for immediate treatment. Do not wait more than 36 hours to startPEP treatment.

If you are currently taking PEP, talk to your doctor before starting PrEP. Blood testing and a short wait time are required to make sure you are HIV-negative after finishing a PEP regimen.



What happens if I miss a dose, or only take PrEP once in a while?

To be effective at preventing HIV, PrEP must be taken every day as prescribed by your doctor.

If you miss one dose, that’s okay. Take your next dose as planned.

If you miss two or three doses while you’re sexually active, or if you don’t take PrEP as prescribed, check in with Evergreen or your doctor to make sure that you’re still HIV-negative. You can restart your PrEP routine after you get a new negative HIV test.



How long does PrEP take to work?

PrEP typically takes one to two weeks to provide full protection. It’s important to use a condom in the first two weeks of taking PrEP to make sure you’re protected against HIV.




What if my doctor doesn’t know about PrEP? Can I get a referral to Evergreen?

Yes, you can. If your primary care doctor is unfamiliar with PrEP, call the Evergreen PrEP hotline at 716.541.0676 to coordinate an insurance referral. You can come to Evergreen for private PrEP services, and keep seeing your primary doctor for the rest of your health needs.

If you want your primary care doctor to handle your PrEP services, Evergreen can contact your doctor on your behalf to talk about what PrEP is, and how it might be beneficial to you.



Is PrEP a vaccine?

No, PrEP is not a vaccine. A vaccine provides immunity against an illness for a long period of time with no daily upkeep.

PrEP is a daily pill that, when taken as prescribed, greatly reduces your risk of getting HIV. PrEP does not provide immunity against HIV; as soon as you stop taking PrEP, you lose protection against the HIV virus. PrEP has to be taken every day for optimal protection against HIV.




I am a heterosexual woman who is HIV-negative. I want to have a baby with my partner who is HIV-positive. Can PrEP protect my baby and me against HIV?

Yes. PrEP is one of several recommended options available to prevent the transmission of HIV. Call the Evergreen PrEP hotline at 716.541.0676, or talk to your primary care doctor for more information on the options available to you.



I don’t feel comfortable talking about my sex life. Is there a way to get PrEP discreetly?

You can call the Evergreen PrEP hotline at 716.541.0676 to talk privately with a provider about PrEP and whether it’s right for you.

If you are uncomfortable talking with your primary care doctor about PrEP, Evergreen can carry out all PrEP services with an insurance referral. Your primary care doctor can continue with all other aspects of your primary care services beyond PrEP.



I want to take PrEP, and I have insurance. Is PrEP covered by my plan?

PrEP is covered by Medicaid and most insurance programs. Co-pay assistance programs are available. Call the Pharmacy at Evergreen at 716.541.0656 to find out if you qualify for co-pay assistance.

We will help you through all steps of determining insurance coverage, co-pays and primary care services related to PrEP. Call the Evergreen PrEP hotline at 716.541.0676 for more information.



I want to take PrEP, but I don’t have insurance. What should I do?

If you do not have insurance, Evergreen can help you enroll in programs that cover the costs of your appointments and blood tests, as well as co-pay assistance programs for the cost of your prescription.

We will help you through all steps of determining insurance coverage, co-pays and primary care services related to PrEP. Call the Evergreen PrEP hotline at 716.541.0676 for more information.


CALL US TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT AND FIND OUT IF PrEP IS RIGHT FOR YOU.

 

Call the Evergreen PrEP hotline at 716.541.0676 to schedule an appointment, or talk to your primary care doctor. If your primary care doctor is unfamiliar with PrEP, Evergreen can provide PrEP services while your primary care doctor maintains your primary health needs.

Your Evergreen provider or primary care doctor will help determine if PrEP is right for you. Once PrEP is prescribed, you’ll need to return for blood work every three months. Your doctor will keep close track of any side effects, which are typically minor and not experienced by the majority of PrEP users. 

PrEP is covered by Medicaid and most insurance programs. Evergreen can help determine the cost of a monthly prescription based on your insurance coverage, and in many cases, even waive co-pay costs. 

If you do not have insurance, Evergreen can help you enroll in programs that cover the costs of your appointments and blood tests, as well as co-pay assistance programs for the cost of your prescription. Evergreen can help you through all steps of insurance coverage, co-pays and primary care services related to PrEP.

PrEP should be taken daily. Remember, PrEP does not protect against STIs like gonorrhea or syphilis. You should keep using condoms to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. 

WE ARE A NONPROFIT, MULTI-AGENCY SERVICE GROUP FOSTERING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES BY PROVIDING MEDICAL, BEHAVIORAL AND SUPPORTIVE SERVICES TO INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES IN WESTERN NEW YORK.

 

Founded as AIDS Community Services in 1983, part of the Evergreen Association’s mission is to provide support and services toWNY people who are affected by HIV, AIDS, and other sexually-related infections. Evergreen has developed a wide range of life-enhancing services to support the ability of our clients to lead healthy, secure and satisfying lives as members of the regional community.

Today, Evergreen supports the entire WNY community. Increasingly, we work with underserved and/or stigmatized individuals, such as: LGBTQ people; people with multiple chronic diseases; people living with HIV; people struggling with mental health challenges; people who use drugs and alcohol; dealing with multiple chronic diseases, such as: people living HIV, diabetes and heart disease, mental health challenges and substance use.

 
Contact Evergreen today to find out if PrEP is right for you.
716.541.0676
 
 
Open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Buffalo Elmwood Office
206 S. Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14201
716.847.2441