A Guide To PrEP for the Trans and Non-Binary Communities

Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an important tool in the battle against HIV. PrEP is a daily medication that effectively protects against HIV infection. It greatly decreases the likelihood of HIV transmission through sexual intercourse, reducing the risk by up to 99%.

PrEP might be right for you if you’re HIV-negative and have sex in a variety of situations where condoms are not easily or always used. It gives you empowerment, particularly if you are a receptive partner or bottom, by taking control over protecting yourself from HIV transmission.

Find out whether PrEP is right for you.

Who should consider taking PrEP?

PrEP is a medication for HIV-negative individuals at risk of HIV exposure. One group that should take PrEP is people with an HIV-positive partner. Being in a serodiscordant relationship increases transmission risk. PrEP, taken as prescribed, significantly reduces the partner’s chances of getting HIV.

People who don’t always use condoms and are unsure of their partners’ HIV status should consider taking PrEP. Condoms work well in preventing HIV transmission, but they’re not always 100% effective. In situations where condom use is inconsistent or uncertain, PrEP can add an extra layer of protection against acquiring HIV. However, it’s essential to remember that PrEP doesn’t protect against other STIs, so regular testing and safe sex practices should still be followed.

Is PrEP Approved for Trans Men and Women?

Truvada and Descovy are FDA-approved medications for preventing HIV transmission. They are highly effective, with studies showing up to 99% effectiveness when taken consistently. They prevent HIV from reproducing, reducing transmission risk.

Truvada and Descovy have benefits for HIV prevention, but there can be side effects. The most common side effects are nausea, weight changes, and diarrhea at the beginning of treatment. These side effects usually go away over time. Both medications may also affect cholesterol levels. Despite possible side effects, using them with medical supervision can protect transgender and non-binary people from HIV.

Can you take PrEP while on hormone replacement/affirming therapy (HRT)?

PrEP is approved for people on hormone therapy. Research shows minimal interactions between PrEP and HRT medications, so they can be taken together safely. Consult a healthcare provider familiar with both treatments for monitoring and adjusting dosages if necessary. PrEP and HRT together prioritize sexual health and affirm transgender individuals’ true selves.

How to take PrEP

Taking PrEP is important in preventing HIV transmission during sexual activities. The recommended method is daily dosing. Daily PrEP ensures consistent high levels of medication in the tissues where transmission occurs during sex. Daily PrEP needs to be taken for at least seven days before it is fully effective in providing maximum protection against HIV.

Another dosing method for PrEP is on-demand dosing. It involves taking two pills before and after sexual activity. This method is for people who have irregular sexual encounters but still want protection from HIV. By following the dosing schedule, individuals ensure adequate medication levels.

Where to obtain PrEP

Finding PrEP at a transgender community-inclusive clinic can significantly enhance comfort and trust for individuals seeking this preventative HIV medication. Prioritizing a clinic that emphasizes inclusivity and understands the specific health needs of the LGBTQ+ community can make the process of obtaining PrEP more welcoming and effective. The good news is, as an AAHIVM-certified practice, Spectrum Medical is a leading provider of PrEP therapy for patients throughout the Valley by offering ongoing management and care to help keep HIV infection at bay.

Choosing Spectrum Medical for PrEP

Beginning PrEP is a simple and uncomplicated process. An initial consultation is required at our downtown location or with our PrEPmobile, which you can find at events across Maricopa County. As part of this visit, we will administer an HIV test and discuss potential exposure risks. In addition, further screenings will be conducted to assess kidney function and check for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Spectrum Medical provides two convenient options for PrEP: a daily oral pill and a bi-monthly injection. Regular visits to your provider are necessary for testing and prescription renewal, usually four times a year, with kidney function assessments conducted annually. You and your provider will discuss and determine the most suitable option for you.

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