Imagine being able to reduce your chances of getting HIV by up to 99% – pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) makes it possible. If you’re sexually active at all, it’s important to be “PrEP”ared and understand your options.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1.1 million people in the United States are at risk of contracting HIV. However, many who could benefit from PrEP are not using it.
Here’s everything you need to know about PrEP, including what PrEP is, why to take PrEP, and what happens when you visit vybe for your initial PrEP evaluation.
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is medicine that protects people from getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. PrEP is available in pill or shot form and must be taken consistently to maximize its effectiveness.
PrEP is for anyone without HIV who is sexually active, especially if you’re involved in sexual relationships with multiple partners, do not use condoms, or if you have an ongoing sexual relationship with an HIV-positive partner. (Remember, PrEP is not a substitute for safe sex! Always use condoms for extra protection against sexually transmitted infections.)
Be sure not to confuse PrEP with PEP, or post-exposure prophylaxis. Unlike PrEP, which is designed to prevent HIV long-term, PEP is taken in emergency situations after a possible HIV exposure.
Truvada and Descovy are both approved for use as PrEP, although there are some fundamental differences between the two:
Despite these differences, both Truvada and Descovy have proven to be equally effective at preventing HIV transmission. Your vybe care provider can help determine which pill is best for you.
As of now, Apretude is the only shot approved for use as PrEP. Apretude is for people at risk of getting HIV through sex – it is not currently recommended for people who inject drugs.
Both PrEP pills and shots are approved for use by adolescents without HIV who weigh at least 77 pounds and have the same risks listed above.
The results speak for themselves – clinical studies show that PrEP is up to 99% effective in people at risk of HIV infection through sex and at least 74% effective in people who inject drugs.
And that’s just the beginning. Here are some other great reasons why to take PrEP:
It’s crucial that you start taking PrEP before having sexual contact or sharing needles with someone who has HIV.
If you think PrEP may be right for you, don’t wait. The Mazzoni Center and Philadelphia Fight are excellent resources for an initial PrEP evaluation, follow-up visits, and any additional care. If you’re unable to get an appointment for an initial evaluation at either the Mazzoni Center or Philadelphia Fight, you can visit your local vybe urgent care as a second resource. During your initial PrEP evaluation, we’ll ask you some questions about risk management, discuss potential side effects, give you an HIV test (to make sure you are negative), do blood work, and finally, write your PrEP prescription.
After vybe gets you started on PrEP, you’ll need to visit a healthcare provider at places like the Mazzoni Center or Philadelphia Fight routinely for prescription refills or shots, HIV tests, and more. Mail-in HIV tests and telehealth services may be available.
We believe that everyone deserves great care, and you’ll feel welcome from the moment you walk through the doors at vybe. We accept walk-ins for all urgent care services, including illness, injury, physicals, stitches, x-rays, COVID-19 testing, and so much more.FIND YOUR VYBE