Many people know that medications (antiretroviral therapy) can help people who are HIV-positive live longer and healthier. But, what they may not know is that a combination of medications taken in one pill every day can help HIV-negative people stay negative by greatly reducing their chances of contracting the virus. This treatment regimen is called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP.
PrEP only works if taken properly and consistently. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that PrEP is more than 90 percent effective in preventing HIV transmission. The risk of contracting HIV can be reduced even more if PrEP is combined with condoms and other prevention methods.
Is PrEP Right for You?
Those who may want to consider PrEP include:
• People in a relationship with an HIV-positive partner.
• People who don’t regularly use condoms when having sex.
• People who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past six months.
• Anyone who has shared equipment when injecting drugs.
Most insurance plans cover PrEP. Studies have shown that PrEP is safe and no serious side effects have been reported. It’s important for people considering PrEP to consult with doctors and other health care providers who specialize in this treatment. They will assess each patient’s current medical condition as well as offer counseling about how to take PrEP properly so it is effective. You will also need to regularly be tested for HIV and other STIs.
For more information, talk to your health care provider and check out trusted government websites, such as the CDC.
Find an HIV testing site or HIV services near you in New York City.
Amida Care can also help. Amida Care is a Special Needs Health Plan (SNP) that currently serves 6,700+ members throughout the five boroughs of New York City, including people living with HIV/AIDS; people of transgender experience, regardless of HIV status, and people who are experiencing homelessness, regardless of HIV status.Please contact us at 1-855-GO-AMIDA to be directed to more health resources.
Watch the PrEP 101 Webinar on Amida Care’s website.