How Can I Protect Myself from HIV?

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, is an important new HIV prevention option for folks who do not have HIV infection, but are at significant risk for acquiring it. Did you know that you can take one pill a day to prevent acquiring HIV?
The medication approved by the FDA for HIV PrEP is emtricitabine/tenofovir (Truvada).

Truvada can reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 92 percent when taken once a day as prescribed. PrEP obviously does not replace other methods of risk reduction like consistent use of condoms—but with the advent of PrEP, we have the opportunity to significantly lower the number of new infections.
Who should use PrEP?
Gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender persons, persons who inject drugs, and others at high risk for infection. PrEP can be provided by all health care providers as part of primary care.
Is PrEP covered by insurance?
Yes, in many cases. PrEP medicine is covered by major private insurance programs, as well as Medicare, Medi-Cal and Covered California.
What if I don’t have insurance?
Financial assistance may be available for PrEP. The Fair Pricing Coalition website has a great summary of PrEP assistance programs.
Where can I find more information on PrEP?

See our previous post on Truvada and PrEP here. You can also find more info on the CDC’s PrEP page here.

Dr O.

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