PrEP: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis to prevent HIV

CHA is seeking community feedback about the addition of the PrEP Clinic to their services. Comments and suggestions are welcome through our online survey. This information will be used to gauge community knowledge/attitudes about PrEP and to structure appointment availability to ensure that PrEP is accessible to those who need it. If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact the Cabarrus Health Alliance Communicable Disease Department at 704-920-1372.

PrEP is a once daily pill that can provide a high level of protection for people who do not have HIV but are at high risk of coming into contact with the virus.

Studies have shown that when taken every day as prescribed, PrEP can reduce a person’s risk of getting HIV from a sexual partner by over 90% and 70% by a drug-injection-using partner who is positive.

No method offers 100% protection but PrEP can be combined with other prevention strategies to reduce the risk of HIV infection even further.

PrEP is a combination of two HIV medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) sold under the name Truvada®. It is covered by most health insurance programs and for those without insurance, there are multiple assistance programs that can help cover costs. Those taking PrEP need to visit their healthcare provider every few months for follow-up, lab tests, and prescription refills.

Is PrEP Right for me?



Who is at risk for HIV?


Certain behaviors can put you at risk for HIV. Although the risk factors for HIV are the same for everyone, some groups are more affected than others, for a variety of possible reasons. Learn more at AIDS.gov
  1. Places to Start
  2. PrEP Videos
  3. Online Resources

North Carolina AIDS Training & Education Center
has a map of NC PrEP providers and a list of Frequently Asked Questions for people interested in or currently taking PrEP.
http://www.med.unc.edu/ncaidstraining/prep/PrEP-for-consumers



Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)


http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep.html
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/prep/

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/prevention/reduce-your-risk/pre-exposure-prophylaxis/index.html

Gilead Sciences

is the maker of Truvada, the drug used in PrEP. The website has info about the medicine, making a decision, a plan for starting PrEP, and other resources.
https://start.truvada.com/what-is-truvada

How Else Can I Stay HIV Negative?

The more of these action you take, the safer you'll be.
​Visit AIDS.gov to learn more.

  • Use Condoms.Find the size and type of condom you like, use them consistently and correctly every time.
    You may request condoms for free here at CHA.
  • Use Lube. Use water-based or silicone-based lubricant to prevent small tears during sex that make it easier for the HIV virus to enter your body.
  • Choose Kinds of Sex With Less Risk. Sexual activities carry different levels of risk for getting or transmitting HIV. HIV is mainly spread by having anal or vaginal sex without a condom or without taking medicines to prevent HIV. Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for HIV transmission. It's possible for either partner - the insertive partner (top) or the receptive partner (bottom) to get HIV, but it is much riskier for an HIV-negative partner to be the receptive partner. Vaginal sex also carries a risk for HIV transmission, but it is less risky than anal sex. Oral sex poses little to no risk of getting or transmitting HIV. Understanding Risk
  • Reduce the Number of People You Have Sex With. The number of sex partners you have affects your HIV risk. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to have a partner with HIV whose viral load is not suppressed or to have a sex partner with a sexually transmits disease Both of these factors can increase the risk of HIV transmission.
  • Avoid Alcohol and Drugs When You Have Sex. Drinking or getting high when you have sex can make it hard to remember to use condoms.
  • Use Clean Syringes. If you inject drugs, and are not ready to stop, use a new, clean syringe every time.
How Can I Prevent HIV Transmission?

  • Get Tested. It's the only way to know if you or a partner has HIV or other sexually transmitted infections. STIs can make it easier to get or spread HIV and can have long-term health consequences. Ask your sex partners about the last time they got tested. To be sure, get tested together. These services are available at Cabarrus Health Alliance.
  • Support Your Partners Living With HIV. If your partner is living with HIV, encourage him or her to get HIV care and take his or her ART medications every day. This will help your partner stay healthy and reduce his or her chance of passing HIV to you.
  • Know About Emergency PEP. If you are not on PrEP and think you were recently exposed to HIV during sex, through sharing needles or works, or if you have been sexually assaulted, go immediately to your doctor, an emergency room, or urgent care clinic and ask for PEP. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) involves taking antiretroviral medications as soon as possible (must be within 72 hours) after a high-risk event to stop HIV infection in your body.