PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a way to take control of your sexual health. It helps people who are HIV negative (not living with HIV) to reduce their worry about getting HIV. PrEP involves taking medication daily that contains a combination of antiretroviral drugs to stop the HIV virus from reproducing in the body.
PrEP is a powerful tool in helping to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. However, not everyone knows about PrEP or how to obtain it. Through our PrEPared for Life Program, we can help you find options for enrolling in PrEP services in Arkansas. Contact us using the form below for more information.
PrEP is for anyone – straight, gay or bisexual. PrEP is for male, female, transgender or gender nonconforming individuals.
PrEP is a way to prevent HIV for those that are at higher risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends PrEP for anyone who is in an ongoing relationship with someone who is HIV-positive. Additionally, CDC also suggest PrEP be considered for anyone who isn’t in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-negative, and
PrEP is also recommended for people who have injected drugs in the past 6 months and have shared injection equipment or have been in treatment for injection drug use in the past 6 months.
Everyone’s situation is different. If you are unsure whether PrEP might be for you, Engaging Arkansas Communities can help you connect to FREE information, PrEP Navigation services, and HIV/STI testing.
Contact us using the button below or call us at (844) 754-3742 for assistance.
When a person takes PrEP as directed, it is 99% effective at preventing HIV.
HIV testing is done before starting PrEP because PrEP is only for people who are HIV negative. PrEP involves HIV testing every three months, periodic STI testing, and being seen regularly by a medical provider. Many insurance plans, including Medicaid, cover PrEP. Assistance may also be available if you are uninsured or if your co-pay or deductible is too high. Contact us for assistance.
Engaging Arkansas Communities can send you a FREE HIV test through the mail or connect you to HIV testing in your area. Click the button below to get started.
There have been no significant side effects found in any PrEP trials to date. Some side effects associated with PrEP include an upset stomach, headache, vomiting, weight gain, and loss of appetite. However, symptoms typically go away after the first month of taking the medication. You should tell your healthcare provider if these or other symptoms become severe or do not go away.
While PrEP can affect kidney function, changes in kidney health are typically modest and are reversible--meaning kidney function is restored when a person stops taking the medication. A healthcare provider will monitor your kidney health regularly while you are taking PrEP.
PrEP is covered by most insurance plans as well as Medicaid. For those that don't have coverage, there are patient assistance programs that can provide financial help to cover the costs of prescriptions.
Engaging Arkansas Communities can help you navigate the process of locating a PrEP-friendly provider and assistance programs for those who are uninsured or for those with a high co-pay or deductible. Contact us using our Contact Form, or call us at (844) 754-3742 for assistance.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PrEP reaches maximum protection from HIV for receptive anal sex at about 7 days of daily use. For all other activities, including insertive anal sex, vaginal sex, and injection drug use, PrEP reaches maximum protection at about 20 days of daily use.
Yes, you should continue using condoms even when you are taking PrEP.
PrEP does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like syphilis, gonorrhea or chlamydia. Using PrEP and condoms together gives you protection from both HIV and most STIs.
You can get FREE CONDOMS from Engaging Arkansas Communities using a simple online request form. Click the button below to get started.
PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. It involves taking antiretroviral medicines as soon as possible, but no more than 72 hours (3 days) after you may have been exposed to HIV, to try to reduce the chance of becoming HIV-positive. Though the window is within 72 hours of exposure, the sooner you are able to take the medication after an exposure the better.
You will be asked to take the medication for 28 days. Though these drugs have proven to be effective in preventing HIV for some, there is no guarantee this will work for everyone.
If you are prescribed PEP, you may need to undergo routine HIV testing at four weeks and three to six months after exposure. You may also be asked additional questions about your exposure, the person you were exposed to (in case they can be reached for HIV testing) and to test for other sexually transmitted infections. Women may be asked to take a pregnancy test. It is also likely, you will discuss how to lower your risk and avoid HIV exposure in the future.
PEP is generally prescribed for people fitting in the following categories:
PEP is for emergency situations when someone may have been exposed to HIV. For someone who is at an ongoing risk for HIV, PrEP is the recommended option
PEP is effective at preventing HIV when started and taken correctly, but it is not 100%. A person needs to start taking PEP as soon as possible after a potential exposure, but not longer than 72 hours. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), research has shown that PEP has little or no effect in preventing HIV infection if it is started later than 72 hours after exposure.
It is also important to take the full course of PEP, as prescribed. PEP is prescribed for 28 days, with medication taken once or twice daily.
PEP is safe, but some people taking PEP have experienced nausea as a side effect.