Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is medication taken every day to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV in adults. Truvada is the brand-name of the medication. Truvada was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in combination with safe sex practices for those who are HIV-negative.
PrEP is effective when taken every day AND active risk-reduction behaviors are used. Active risk-reduction behaviors include using condoms 100% correctly for each sexual encounter, knowing your partner’s HIV status, and reducing the number of partners.
Prescriptions for PrEP can be filled through a pharmacy.
Who should consider taking PrEP?
PrEP is for people who do not have HIV and who are at high risk for getting HIV from sexual activity or injection drug use.
PrEP can only be prescribed by a healthcare provider. Students interested in learning more about PrEP or being prescribed Truvada can schedule an appointment with Student Health Services (703-993-2831).
- Call or stop by to schedule an appointment during open hours.
- Your first appointment is one hour long.
- Arrive 20 minutes before your appointment time to complete the check-in process.
- Do not urinate one hour prior to the appointment. You should be prepared to provide a urine sample.
- Be prepared to have lab testing (blood draw), including a lab test for HIV.
- During your visit, your healthcare provider will conduct a thorough review your medical and sexual health history. You will be asked about drug use and symptoms of acute HIV. These questions are asked of all patients during PrEP appointments and are important for your overall health. Like all healthcare, this information is confidential.
- If needed, vaccines may be administered.
- You will receive a packet of information at your appointment about PrEP, safer sex, health insurance, options for uninsured patients and cost information.
Preparing for your first visit
Know your medical history, have a list of your current medications, bring your immunization record.
Learn more about PrEP and Truvada.
PrEP is a commitment. It must be taken every day. Consider ways to help you take a daily, scheduled medication, now, before committing to PrEP.
PrEP is a medication. This means it comes with side effects, cannot be taken with some other medications (interaction profile), and may have adverse effects (cause a reaction). Ask your healthcare provider about side effects and how you should respond to any side effects.
Consider the cost of Truvada and PrEP follow-up appointments. There may be costs for the medication, lab tests – including an HIV test every 3 months, and possible other fees, such as for vaccinations. Contact your health insurance company regarding costs and your plan. There may be options available to you if you do not have health insurance.
After the first appointment, if you begin taking PreP, you will need to schedule regular follow-up appointments.
- One week from the first appointment to get the prescription
- At 3 weeks
- At 2 months
- At least every 3 months while taking PrEP. Your HIV status will be tested every 3 months.