89+ Million people have been gravely affected by HIV since it created headlines in the early 1980s, and our fight against this deadly virus continues. Fortunately, ongoing advances in medical research and technology provide real hope for individuals at risk of contracting HIV. One highly valuable tool in our kit is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
The expert team of clinical experts here at City Care Family Practice, located in Lower Midtown, New York, is committed to providing the highest quality, most comprehensive health care available to our community. This includes PrEP treatment for those at risk of contracting HIV.
We’re happy to provide guidance regarding this remarkable therapy.
What is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)?
PrEP is a medicine that you take once a day to help prevent HIV infection. It’s available by prescription and designed for those at risk of contracting HIV from sex or injection drug use.
How effective is PrEP?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PrEP is about 99% effective in preventing HIV from sex. If you’re at risk due to injection drug use, it can reduce your risk by about 74%.
It’s important to note, however, that these highly effective rates drop significantly if you don’t take the medication every day as prescribed.
How does PrEP work?
For those without a current HIV diagnosis, the medication used for PrEP stops the virus from growing in your body. It works best as part of a comprehensive preventive strategy that includes routine HIV testing, condom use to protect against other STDs, etc.
As of 2020, there are two medications approved for PrEP use:
This is the earliest approved drug for PrEP and is considered effective for all people at risk of contracting HIV through sex or injection drug use.
More recently cleared by the FDA, Descovy is considered effective for people at risk of contracting HIV through sex. However, research is not entirely clear regarding its preventive success for women.
Depending on your circumstance (at risk because of sex versus drug use), the medication needs to be taken for 7 to 21 days before it becomes effective.
Who is a candidate for PrEP?
Before recommending PrEP, your City Care provider completes a thorough evaluation that includes a detailed physical exam and diagnostic labs to help determine any factors that might prohibit your use of the medication.
Typically, however, your provider may recommend PrEP if you:
- Are sexually active with someone who is HIV-positive
- Have multiple sexual partners and don’t use condoms consistently
- Have a partner who is not monogamous
- Participate in unprotected anal sex as a gay or bisexual man
- Inject drugs or share needles
Here at City Care Family Practice, we provide all our patients stellar medical care without judgement of your sexual orientation or lifestyle choices in a warm and caring environment that’s focused on your well-being. Our team is thrilled to offer this potentially life-saving therapy for those at risk of contracting HIV.
For more information about PrEP, schedule a visit at City Care Family Practice today. We’re here to help with all your health care needs.