PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)
PREP- we do offer this highly effective medical treatment for the prevention of HIV infection. In most cases we can even provide treatment services even to those without insurance.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is PREP?
HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PREP) is the process of using antiretroviral drugs to prevent the transmission of the HIV virus in humans after they have been exposed to it. In 2012, the FDA approved the use of Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir) for use in patients at a high risk of HIV acquisition. It is taken on a once-daily basis and is indicated for use as long as the risk of acquiring HIV remains high.
How effective is PREP in preventing HIV infection?
PREP is highly effective; MSM patients who adhere to the once-daily regimen were observed to have an 86% reduction in the transmission of HIV. Heterosexual men and women were observed to benefit from a 75% reduction in the transmission of HIV.
How do I know if I am suitable for PREP?
PREP is suitable for individuals who continue to have a high risk of HIV acquisition but do not wish to contract it. It is also suitable for patients who do not currently have HIV and who do not have renal impairment. Patients who are pregnant can be administered PREP safely*
*No increases in birth defects have been reported, but no controlled trials have been performed either. Truvada is classified as a pregnancy category B – a risk/benefit analysis must be performed before prescribing it to pregnant patients.
I am positive for HIV. Why am I not suitable for PREP?
PREP is useful in preventing the transmission of HIV, not treating it. Furthermore, PREP can worsen things in a patient who has HIV, as there will be rapid development of resistance to emtricitabine, which limits future therapeutic options. This is why all patients who are considering PREP must first be tested for HIV.
What are the adverse effects of PREP?
There is a low risk of kidney impairment (nephrotoxicity) which has an incidence of about 1 in 1000 person-years. When it develops, it tends to occur later in the course of therapy (approximately 25 to 80 months after initiating treatment). PREP may also cause a loss of bone mineral density and may increase the risk of fractures.