Reduce HIV transmission risk by 99%.
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a daily medication that acts as a powerful shield against HIV infection . It can significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission through sex by up to 99%.
How does PrEP work?
PrEP uses antiretrovirals, the same medication used to fight HIV. This approach involves “preloading” the body with antiretrovirals before potential exposure to the virus. By doing so, PrEP helps the body prevent the HIV virus from replicating, making it unable to establish an infection.
Is PrEP the right choice for you?
Anyone who is sexually active and HIV-negative can benefit from PrEP. Talk to your nurse practitioner or doctor to see if it’s right for you. PrEP is a good option for people who:
- Are sexually active
- Are HIV negative
- Have an HIV-positive partner
- Engage in drug injection or needle sharing
- Have experienced an STI in the past six months
- Have used PEP often
- Do not consistently use condoms
PrEP does not guard against other STIs, and having an active STI can increase the risk of contracting HIV. Combining PrEP with condom use is a smart strategy to improve protection.
If you’re pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding and at a high risk of HIV, PrEP may also protect both you and your baby from HIV transmission.
Are there side effects?
When starting PrEP, some people might experience mild initial side effects such as nausea, loss of appetite, headaches, fever, muscle pain, rash. These side effects improve over time as your body adjusts to the medication. Many people taking PrEP don’t experience any side effects at all.
What’s the next step?
Starting PrEP is a straightforward process. An initial consultation is required at our downtown location or with our PrEPmobile, which you can find at events across Maricopa County. During this visit, we will perform an HIV test and discuss exposure risks. We will also perform additional screenings to check for other STIs and assess kidney function.
Spectrum Medical offers two convenient options for PrEP: an oral daily pill and a bi-monthly (every other month) injection. Regular provider visits are required for testing and prescription renewal, typically four times yearly, with kidney function assessments performed each year. You and your provider will discuss which option is best for you.