FAQ2021-08-11T13:50:06-05:00

QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE

Answers About PrEP

WHAT IS PREP?2020-08-20T13:48:13-05:00

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 reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken daily.

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?2020-07-13T15:00:57-05:00

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. It is not FDA approved as PrEP for use by people who may be sexually exposed to HIV through vaginal sex because it has only been studied so far in trans women and cis men.

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?2020-08-20T13:49:23-05:00

We provide all our services at no cost to our patients, regardless of their insurance status, income, or citizenship status.

These services include PrEP prescriptions and necessary monitoring tests, PEP prescriptions, STD testing, and some forms of STD treatment. We can help patients who have tested positive for HIV get connected with HIV treatment.

WHO CAN TAKE PREP?2020-07-13T15:12:58-05:00

Anyone who wants to stay HIV-negative and thinks there is a chance that they may be exposed to HIV sexually or through sharing injection equipment at some point in the future. For example, if you think there’s a chance you may end up choosing to have anal, vaginal, and/or oral sex without condoms, PrEP can benefit you by giving you confidence you’ll stay negative while doing so, regardless of your partner’s HIV status.

IS PREP EFFECTIVE?2020-07-13T15:13:34-05:00

Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken daily.

HOW DOES PREP WORK?2020-07-13T15:17:54-05:00

PrEP works to prevent HIV from establishing itself in someone’s body even if they’re exposed to HIV through sex or sharing injection equipment.

Being on PrEP involves taking a pill every day and having an appointment every three months with your PrEP provider to check in and get tested.

HOW OFTEN DO I HAVE TO TAKE PREP?2020-07-13T15:17:23-05:00

In the United States, the only PrEP dosing regimen approved by the FDA is daily dosing.

The pill does not have to be taken at the same time every day to be effective, but often, people are less likely to forget to take a daily pill when they take it at the same time every day and pair it with another daily ritual, like when brushing their teeth in the morning or at night.

HOW LONG UNTIL PREP BECOMES EFFECTIVE?2020-07-13T15:20:07-05:00

According to the CDC, PrEP reaches maximum protection from HIV for receptive anal sex at about 7 days of daily use. For receptive vaginal sex and injection drug use, PrEP reaches maximum protection at about 21 days of daily use.

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?2020-07-13T15:20:52-05:00

PrEP has not been shown to alter hormone levels. When taken daily, PrEP is just as effective for people using hormones as it is for people who are not using hormones.

Music City PrEP Clinic
Music City PrEP Clinic