Here Is Everything You Need to Know About PrEP
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a prevalent concern, affecting over 1M Americans. This condition could heighten their vulnerability to other medical concerns like AIDS; hence its necessary to prevent its spread. If somebody questions you how to avoid HIV, the very first thing that comes to mind is condoms. However, condoms are not the sole way of HIV prevention. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a daily tablet offered at Matt Pabis, MD, in NYC. When taking PrEP regularly, sexually active persons, including the LGBTQ community, could reduce the danger of testing positive for HIV. To discover more regarding the effectiveness of PrEP in East Village for reducing your risk of contracting HIV, call the office or request an appointment online today.
What Exactly Is PrEP?
PrEP uses Truvada (the only licensed HIV medicine so far) to prevent HIV infection in persons who are HIV-negative but at greater risk of acquiring the virus. The one-pill, daily routine has been shown to lower the risk of HIV transmission, but it should be followed regularly.
In 2012, the FDA accredited the use of Gilead’s Truvada to mitigate HIV transmission. This drug has been proven effective in avoiding HIV transmission amongst both opposite and same-sex partners.
Is It Okay If You Only Take It on Days When You Have Sex?
No. According to certain research, several PrEP users do not take it as advised, which could result in HIV infection. Typically, you should take your pill daily as a preventive strategy, just like birth control.
Besides, similar to birth control, which women may use for years before discontinuing, you could quit taking PrEP if your risk factors change. For instance, if you are not engaging in unprotected sex regularly.
Who Should Begin a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Regimen?
PrEP must only be given to persons who are HIV-negative. Therefore, users are first tested before starting a regimen.
Gay men who often engage in unprotected sex, as well as HIV-negative persons with positive partners, should contemplate PrEP. HIV-negative and expectant women might also opt to utilize PrEP if their mate is HIV-positive.
Recent research also shows that injecting drug users who use contaminated needles could benefit from PrEP. However, this should be prescribed by a specialist.
Is It Okay to Use PrEP as The Sole HIV Preventative Measure?
Although it is incredibly successful at avoiding HIV transmission, PrEP is not perfect. Like contraceptive pills, even with continuous daily usage, practitioners still advise that PrEP be used in conjunction with condoms or, for drug users, sterile needles. Unfortunately, many people do not consistently use condoms; hence, PrEP is necessary.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Many people who take PrEP do not experience any negative side effects. The smaller percentage might report mild nausea, bloating, headaches, or diarrhea, which normally fades after the first month.
However, PrEP can sometimes impair bone health and/or renal function. Therefore, kidney tests are performed before and throughout therapy as a precaution.
Are you interested in learning if PrEP is right for you? Get in touch with Matt Pabis, MD, through mobile or book online right away.