Reduce The Risk of HIV with PrEP
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. There is currently no effective cure for HIV. But with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is medicine people at risk for HIV can take to prevent getting HIV from sex or injection drug use.
Some groups of people in the United States are more likely to get HIV than others because of many factors, including their sex partners and risk behaviors.
What is PrEP?
PrEP is an HIV prevention option that works by taking one pill every day. When taken daily it can greatly reduce your risk of getting HIV with minimal side effects.
La PrEP es una opción de prevención del VIH que funciona tomando una pastilla todos los días. Cuando se toma diariamente, puede reducir mucho el riesgo de contraer el VIH con mínimos efectos secundarios.
Is PrEP Right For You?
PrEP may be right for you if you test negative for HIV, and any of the following apply to you:
- You have a sexual partner with HIV (especially if the partner has an unknown or detectable viral load)
- You have not consistently used a condom
- You have been diagnosed with an STD in the past 6 months
- You inject drugs and you…
- Have an injection partner with HIV
- Share needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs (for example, cookers)
- You have been prescribed PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and you…
- Report continued risk behavior
- Have used multiple courses of PEP
Can You Take PrEP if You Are Pregnant?
If you are a woman and have a partner with HIV and are considering getting pregnant, talk to your doctor about PrEP if you’re not already taking it. PrEP may be an option to help protect you and your baby from getting HIV while you try to get pregnant, during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.
Can Children Take PrEP?
Yes. PrEP is approved for use by adolescents without HIV who weigh at least 75 pounds and who are at risk of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use.
Is PrEP Effective?
Yes, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV.
- PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken as prescribed.
- Although there is less information about how effective PrEP is among people who inject drugs, we do know that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV by at least 74% when taken as prescribed.
- PrEP is much less effective when it is not taken as prescribed.
How To Get PrEP
You do NOT need to have insurance to get PrEP. There are programs that can help you get the medication even if you don’t have insurance.
Looking for PrEP in Wichita, Kansas, or medical providers who treat HIV? HealthCore Clinic can help!
Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our providers to discuss if PrEP is right for you. At HealthCore Clinic, you’re more than just a client, a customer, a patient—you’re a valued member of our wellness community. Our integrated, whole-body approach wraps you in care. That’s our mission, our core. Caring for you. Promoting a healthy community.
What is HIV stigma?
HIV stigma is negative attitudes and beliefs about people with HIV. It is the prejudice that comes with labeling an individual as part of a group that is believed to be socially unacceptable.
Here are a few examples:
- Believing that only certain groups of people can get HIV
- Making moral judgments about people who take steps to prevent HIV transmission
- Feeling that people deserve to get HIV because of their choices
HIV stigma and discrimination affect the emotional well-being and mental health of people living with HIV. People living with HIV often internalize the stigma they experience and begin to develop a negative self-image. They may fear they will be discriminated against or judged negatively if their HIV status is revealed.
“Internalized stigma” or “self-stigma” happens when a person takes in the negative ideas and stereotypes about people living with HIV and starts to apply them to themselves. HIV internalized stigma can lead to feelings of shame, fear of disclosure, isolation, and despair. These feelings can keep people from getting tested and treated for HIV.
Talking openly about HIV can help normalize the subject. It also provides opportunities to correct misconceptions and help others learn more about HIV. But be mindful of how you talk about HIV and people living with HIV.
We can all help end HIV stigma through our words and actions in our everyday lives. Lead others with your supportive behaviors.