FAQ’s

FAQ’s2020-04-08T17:24:00-05:00

QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE

Answers About PrEP

WHAT IS PREP?2020-03-31T21:03:11-05:00

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a single daily dose pill for HIV-negative individuals. People exposed to HIV can prevent contracting it with the assistance of PrEP.

To date, there are two FDA-approved medications for PrEP, Truvada® the original PrEP approved in 2012, and now Descovy®, which was approved in 2019. Studies have shown that PrEP is 99% effective at preventing HIV when taken daily as prescribed.

PrEP must be taken consistently to ensure maximum effectiveness and should be used in combination with other HIV-prevention methods, including condoms.

IS PREP SAFE? WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS?2020-04-02T16:57:24-05:00

PrEP is safe, and the regimen is generally well-tolerated. The original pill used for PrEP, Truvada, has been used to treat people living with HIV since 2004. PrEP can cause mild side effects, including upset stomach, headaches, and weight loss, especially at the beginning of the regimen.

A very small percentage of patients have issues with their kidneys or bones. That’s why we perform several tests on your first visit to see if you are at risk. We’ll also continue to monitor your health at regular intervals.

Descovy (TAF/FTC) was approved as PrEP in 2019 after a scientific study demonstrated that Descovy is not inferior to Truvada in terms of efficacy for cis men and trans women.

The main difference between Truvada and Descovy as PrEP for cis men and trans women is that for a very small percentage of prospective PrEP users, Truvada might be contraindicated due to bone mineral density or kidney function issues. Descovy can still be safely used in those cases because it has less of an effect on bone mineral density and kidney function than Truvada does. However, this does not mean that Descovy is an overall “safer” drug or that Truvada is “unsafe.”

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUVADA FOR PREP AND DESCOVY FOR PREP?2020-03-31T21:10:37-05:00

Truvada (TDF/FTC) was the first medication approved for use as PrEP, back in 2012.

Descovy (TAF/FTC) was approved as PrEP in 2019 after a scientific study demonstrated that Descovy is non-inferior to Truvada in terms of efficacy for cis men and trans women.

For a side-by-side comparison of Truvada and Descovy’s use as PrEP, please see this brief informational article from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, which runs a PrEP clinic similar to ours:

https://www.sfaf.org/resource-library/side-by-side-comparison-truvada-and-descovy-for-prep/

The main difference between Truvada and Descovy as PrEP for cis men and trans women is that while that for a very small percentage of prospective PrEP users, Truvada might be contraindicated due to bone mineral density or kidney function issues, Descovy can still be safely used in those cases because it has less of an effect on bone mineral density and kidney function than Truvada does. However, this does not mean that Descovy is an overall “safer” drug or that Truvada is “unsafe.”

MCPC prescribes both forms of PrEP. Like all our services, they are both free for the patient, including the cost of the medication itself, the lab work and appointments to monitor them.

WHAT IS THE COST?2020-04-02T17:00:37-05:00

Whether you’re insured or uninsured, we work to make PrEP available to you at no cost. Also, STD, HIV and HEP testing are free for all patients. We provide treatment for some STDs at no cost. HIV positive individuals can be referred to other organizations to assist them in their care.

WHO CAN TAKE PREP?2020-04-02T17:01:09-05:00
  • If you are at least 18 years of age
  • If you are HIV negative
  • If you are sexually active
  • If you may have had sex with partners who could be HIV positive
  • If you are in a relationship with an HIV-positive individual
  • If you or your partner use injectable drugs
  • PrEP may work for you if you responded YES to any of these statements.
IS PREP EFFECTIVE?2020-04-02T17:01:47-05:00

Studies have indicated that PrEP has been shown to be over 99% effective in the prevention of HIV if taken as directed.

HOW DOES PREP WORK?2020-04-02T17:29:09-05:00

PrEP must be taken consistently every day to prevent the threat of the HIV virus from copying and spreading throughout the body. You must keep your appointment with your PrEP provider every three months, which includes comprehensive lab testing, to continue to receive your prescription.

HOW OFTEN DO I HAVE TO TAKE PREP?2020-04-02T17:30:14-05:00

In order for PrEP to be most effective, it is important that the pill is taken daily at a similar time.

HOW LONG UNTIL PREP BECOMES EFFECTIVE?2020-03-31T21:18:52-05:00

In order for PrEP to work properly, it takes up to seven days of daily dosage to become effective with anal sex. It can take almost three weeks of proper daily dosage to be effective for vaginal intercourse.

DOES PREP PROTECT AGAINST OTHER SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES?2020-04-02T17:33:17-05:00

PrEP does not protect against other STDs.

IF I AM USING HORMONES, CAN PREP INTERFERE?2020-04-02T17:34:00-05:00

PrEP is effective for individuals who are taking gender-affirming hormones if it is consumed with proper care and dosage recommendations.

Music City PrEP Clinic
Music City PrEP Clinic
DO I HAVE TO TAKE PREP FOREVER?2020-03-31T21:22:32-05:00

No, it is not necessary to take PrEP forever. With medical direction, it is possible to safely stop and re-start taking PrEP at different times throughout one’s life. It is important to remember that whenever re-starting treatment with PrEP, it will take at least seven to twenty days of use to reach full effectiveness. Be sure to follow the direction of a knowledgeable healthcare provider when starting or stopping treatment.

DO I NEED A PRESCRIPTION FOR PREP?2020-03-31T21:23:07-05:00

Yes, a prescription is needed. Before starting PrEP, a health questionnaire and lab work are required. The lab work will test for HIV, Hepatitis B, and kidney function. Once the tests are completed and reviewed with you by your healthcare provider, a prescription for PrEP can be written, if appropriate.

HOW FAST CAN I GET MY PREP?2020-04-02T17:36:33-05:00

In most cases, it is delivered to your address in less than one week of your PrEP appointment. We have challenges with some patients’ insurances which sometimes causes us to deliver outside of that time frame.

HOW DO I GET MY PREP PRESCRIPTION?2020-03-31T21:24:59-05:00

If you and your Music City PrEP Provider determine that PrEP is right for you, he or she sends your prescription immediately to one of our pharmacy partners – Avita Drug in Baton Rouge, LA or CVS. Once your insurance or your financial assistance is processed, you’ll receive a call from the pharmacy to confirm the address where your prescription should be mailed and it will arrive within 2 to 3 days.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I MISS A DOSE?2019-10-25T12:03:49-05:00

PrEP is most effective when taken every single day.

  • On a daily regimen, PrEP is about 99% effective.
  • Taken four times per week, it drops to about 96% effective.
  • Taken less than four times per week, the effectiveness drops dramatically.

If you miss a dose, continue with the next dose, but doubling up is not needed.

IS PREP SAFE TO TAKE WITH OTHER PRESCRIPTION DRUGS?2019-09-18T16:36:52-05:00

For the most part, yes, but it is important that you list any drugs you are currently taking when completing the health questionnaire.

WHAT IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR HIV OR AN STD?2020-04-02T17:38:56-05:00

If you test positive for HIV or any other sexually transmitted disease, your provider will reach out to you with treatment options.

QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE

Answers About PrEP

WHAT IS PREP?2020-03-31T21:03:11-05:00

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a single daily dose pill for HIV-negative individuals. People exposed to HIV can prevent contracting it with the assistance of PrEP.

To date, there are two FDA-approved medications for PrEP, Truvada® the original PrEP approved in 2012, and now Descovy®, which was approved in 2019. Studies have shown that PrEP is 99% effective at preventing HIV when taken daily as prescribed.

PrEP must be taken consistently to ensure maximum effectiveness and should be used in combination with other HIV-prevention methods, including condoms.

IS PREP SAFE? WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS?2020-04-02T16:57:24-05:00

PrEP is safe, and the regimen is generally well-tolerated. The original pill used for PrEP, Truvada, has been used to treat people living with HIV since 2004. PrEP can cause mild side effects, including upset stomach, headaches, and weight loss, especially at the beginning of the regimen.

A very small percentage of patients have issues with their kidneys or bones. That’s why we perform several tests on your first visit to see if you are at risk. We’ll also continue to monitor your health at regular intervals.

Descovy (TAF/FTC) was approved as PrEP in 2019 after a scientific study demonstrated that Descovy is not inferior to Truvada in terms of efficacy for cis men and trans women.

The main difference between Truvada and Descovy as PrEP for cis men and trans women is that for a very small percentage of prospective PrEP users, Truvada might be contraindicated due to bone mineral density or kidney function issues. Descovy can still be safely used in those cases because it has less of an effect on bone mineral density and kidney function than Truvada does. However, this does not mean that Descovy is an overall “safer” drug or that Truvada is “unsafe.”

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUVADA FOR PREP AND DESCOVY FOR PREP?2020-03-31T21:10:37-05:00

Truvada (TDF/FTC) was the first medication approved for use as PrEP, back in 2012.

Descovy (TAF/FTC) was approved as PrEP in 2019 after a scientific study demonstrated that Descovy is non-inferior to Truvada in terms of efficacy for cis men and trans women.

For a side-by-side comparison of Truvada and Descovy’s use as PrEP, please see this brief informational article from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, which runs a PrEP clinic similar to ours:

https://www.sfaf.org/resource-library/side-by-side-comparison-truvada-and-descovy-for-prep/

The main difference between Truvada and Descovy as PrEP for cis men and trans women is that while that for a very small percentage of prospective PrEP users, Truvada might be contraindicated due to bone mineral density or kidney function issues, Descovy can still be safely used in those cases because it has less of an effect on bone mineral density and kidney function than Truvada does. However, this does not mean that Descovy is an overall “safer” drug or that Truvada is “unsafe.”

MCPC prescribes both forms of PrEP. Like all our services, they are both free for the patient, including the cost of the medication itself, the lab work and appointments to monitor them.

WHAT IS THE COST?2020-04-02T17:00:37-05:00

Whether you’re insured or uninsured, we work to make PrEP available to you at no cost. Also, STD, HIV and HEP testing are free for all patients. We provide treatment for some STDs at no cost. HIV positive individuals can be referred to other organizations to assist them in their care.

WHO CAN TAKE PREP?2020-04-02T17:01:09-05:00
  • If you are at least 18 years of age
  • If you are HIV negative
  • If you are sexually active
  • If you may have had sex with partners who could be HIV positive
  • If you are in a relationship with an HIV-positive individual
  • If you or your partner use injectable drugs
  • PrEP may work for you if you responded YES to any of these statements.
IS PREP EFFECTIVE?2020-04-02T17:01:47-05:00

Studies have indicated that PrEP has been shown to be over 99% effective in the prevention of HIV if taken as directed.

HOW DOES PREP WORK?2020-04-02T17:29:09-05:00

PrEP must be taken consistently every day to prevent the threat of the HIV virus from copying and spreading throughout the body. You must keep your appointment with your PrEP provider every three months, which includes comprehensive lab testing, to continue to receive your prescription.

HOW OFTEN DO I HAVE TO TAKE PREP?2020-04-02T17:30:14-05:00

In order for PrEP to be most effective, it is important that the pill is taken daily at a similar time.

HOW LONG UNTIL PREP BECOMES EFFECTIVE?2020-03-31T21:18:52-05:00

In order for PrEP to work properly, it takes up to seven days of daily dosage to become effective with anal sex. It can take almost three weeks of proper daily dosage to be effective for vaginal intercourse.

DOES PREP PROTECT AGAINST OTHER SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES?2020-04-02T17:33:17-05:00

PrEP does not protect against other STDs.

IF I AM USING HORMONES, CAN PREP INTERFERE?2020-04-02T17:34:00-05:00

PrEP is effective for individuals who are taking gender-affirming hormones if it is consumed with proper care and dosage recommendations.

Music City PrEP Clinic
DO I HAVE TO TAKE PREP FOREVER?2020-03-31T21:22:32-05:00

No, it is not necessary to take PrEP forever. With medical direction, it is possible to safely stop and re-start taking PrEP at different times throughout one’s life. It is important to remember that whenever re-starting treatment with PrEP, it will take at least seven to twenty days of use to reach full effectiveness. Be sure to follow the direction of a knowledgeable healthcare provider when starting or stopping treatment.

DO I NEED A PRESCRIPTION FOR PREP?2020-03-31T21:23:07-05:00

Yes, a prescription is needed. Before starting PrEP, a health questionnaire and lab work are required. The lab work will test for HIV, Hepatitis B, and kidney function. Once the tests are completed and reviewed with you by your healthcare provider, a prescription for PrEP can be written, if appropriate.

HOW FAST CAN I GET MY PREP?2020-04-02T17:36:33-05:00

In most cases, it is delivered to your address in less than one week of your PrEP appointment. We have challenges with some patients’ insurances which sometimes causes us to deliver outside of that time frame.

HOW DO I GET MY PREP PRESCRIPTION?2020-03-31T21:24:59-05:00

If you and your Music City PrEP Provider determine that PrEP is right for you, he or she sends your prescription immediately to one of our pharmacy partners – Avita Drug in Baton Rouge, LA or CVS. Once your insurance or your financial assistance is processed, you’ll receive a call from the pharmacy to confirm the address where your prescription should be mailed and it will arrive within 2 to 3 days.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I MISS A DOSE?2019-10-25T12:03:49-05:00

PrEP is most effective when taken every single day.

  • On a daily regimen, PrEP is about 99% effective.
  • Taken four times per week, it drops to about 96% effective.
  • Taken less than four times per week, the effectiveness drops dramatically.

If you miss a dose, continue with the next dose, but doubling up is not needed.

IS PREP SAFE TO TAKE WITH OTHER PRESCRIPTION DRUGS?2019-09-18T16:36:52-05:00

For the most part, yes, but it is important that you list any drugs you are currently taking when completing the health questionnaire.

WHAT IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR HIV OR AN STD?2020-04-02T17:38:56-05:00

If you test positive for HIV or any other sexually transmitted disease, your provider will reach out to you with treatment options.

Music City PrEP Clinic