PREP & PEP

Did you know daily PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. Among people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk by more than 70%. Your risk of getting HIV from sex can be even lower if you combine PrEP with condoms and other prevention methods.

What is PrEP and who should take it?

It's 1 pill that you take daily. Studies have shown 0 new cases of HIV infection when taken daily.

Why should I take PrEP?

  • You are HIV-negative and are having sex with different people who you may or may not know their HIV status.
  • You are not in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-negative.
  • You have had sex without a condom OR have been diagnosed with an STD in the past 6 months.
  • You are a heterosexual man or woman who does not regularly use condoms during sex with partners of unknown HIV status.
  • You have injected drugs in the past 6 months and have shared needles or works or been in drug treatment in the past 6 months.
What is PEP and who should take it?

It's 2 Pills you take twice a day, for 28 days - it must be started with 72 hours and can lower your chances of contracting HIV by over 80%.

Who should take it?

  • You think you may have been exposed to HIV while having sex or working as a sex worker (for example, if the condom broke).
  • You shared needles and works to prepare drugs (for example cotton, cookers, water).
  • You were sexually assaulted.
  • Don’t fool around with your health. Find out about PEP if any of those things have happened to you.
I'm Trans. Will PrEP affect my hormones?

No! Current studies show PrEP does not interact with estrogens or progestins.

How can I get PrEP or PEP?

If you think you are in need of PEP, visit the ER immediately.

If you think PrEP may be right for you, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.

Find out if you can get your meds for little or no cost:
  • In order to get PrEP, you’ll need a prescription from a health care provider. So talk to yours to find out if PrEP is a safe option for you. If you’re uncomfortable discussing this with your provider you can contact one of our PrEP Navigators at 760-323-1999 and they will take care of you.
  • You’ll have to take an HIV test before beginning PrEP to be sure you don’t already have HIV. Another HIV test is required every 3 months while you’re taking it, so you’ll have to visit your health care provider for regular follow-ups.
  • The cost of PrEP is covered by many health insurance plans, and a medication assistance program provides free PrEP and co-pay support to people with limited income and no insurance.

TREATMENT AS PREVENTION

If you’re HIV-positive, or involved with someone who is, there’s really great news.

Read this to figure out what makes "U=U" such a game changer:

WHAT IS U=U?

It's short for UNDETECTABLE = UNTRANSMITTABLE

And that’s really good news!

If an HIV-positive person takes anti-HIV drugs (anti-retroviral therapy) they can achieve viral suppression, which is defined as 200 copies/ml or undetectable levels.

People who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus.

That means that HIV treatment is also effective for HIV prevention. But the HIV-positive person must continue to take their HIV medications every day, as prescribed, in order to keep the virus at undetectable levels. And of course, treatment as prevention doesn’t take the place of other ways of preventing HIV infection, such as condom use and PrEP.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE UNDETECTABLE?

IT MEANS the amount of HIV in blood is so low it can’t be measured.

What this means is having an undetectable viral load, or being virally suppressed, is good for an HIV-positive person’s overall health. It protects the immune system which is the key to fighting off other illnesses and staying healthy. It also greatly reduces the chance of transmitting the virus to others through sex or drug use.

WHAT IS A VIRAL LOAD?

It’s the amount of HIV detectable in your blood

A viral load test tells how much HIV is in the blood:

Generally speaking, when someone has recently been infected with HIV, there is a lot of the virus in their bloodstream. This means they are very likely to infect people they have sex with if those people aren’t using other types of protection. The goal of HIV treatment is to reduce viral load to very low or undetectable levels.

CAN AN HIV - PERSON BE INFECTED BY SOMEONE WHO IS HIV + BUT "UNDETECTABLE"?

It’s very unlikely, and it can only happen if you’re having sex with more than just that person. But taking PrEP can protect you all the time, no matter who you’re with.

Your risk is extremely low:

Ultimately, it’s up to you to protect yourself and determine what types of prevention will work for you. And, of course, anti-retroviral therapy doesn’t take the place of other other types of prevention options such as condom use and PrEP.