Did you know?
The best way to fight a disease is to prevent it, which is why Tagbo J. Ekwonu, MD, AAHIVS, of Eastowne Family Physicians offers PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to his patients who are at risk of HIV infection. From its office in Charlotte, North Carolina, which also serves the Noda, Eastway, and Plaza Midwood communities, Eastowne Family Physicians is a trusted and reliable source for good health and HIV prevention. Get in touch today by phone or online to learn more.
What is PrEP HIV prevention?
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a daily pill you can take to significantly reduce your chances of contracting HIV if you’re HIV-negative. Because there’s no cure for HIV, preventing the contraction of the disease with PrEP is one of the most effective ways of fighting the spread of the virus.
How effective is PrEP HIV prevention?
PrEP is incredibly effective at preventing you from contracting HIV. If taken correctly, PrEP reduces the risk of HIV infection:
- From sex by more than 90%
- From injected drugs by more than 70%
PrEP becomes even more effective in preventing sexually transmitted HIV when combined with condoms and other prevention methods.
For PrEP to be as effective as possible, it needs to be taken daily and consistently. This ensures that there is always enough of the medicine in your bloodstream to fight off any possible infection.
PrEP reaches its maximum levels of protection against HIV transmission:
- From receptive anal sex after about seven days of use
- From receptive vaginal sex and drug injections after about 20 days of use
There is no data confirming how long it takes PrEP to reach its maximum effectiveness for insertive anal or insertive vaginal sex.
How does PrEP HIV prevention work?
PrEP is a daily pill that helps your body prevent HIV from making copies of itself and overrunning your immune system. It does this by protecting the T-cells in your body that HIV attacks.
PrEP is not a vaccine. There are no trace amounts of HIV in PrEP, meaning that you run no risk of HIV infection just by taking PrEP.
It’s important to note that PrEP doesn’t protect you against any other sexually transmitted diseases, like gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis. You should still wear a condom during sex while taking PrEP to protect yourself from other sexually transmitted diseases and to further decrease your chances of HIV infection.
Am I a good candidate for PrEP HIV prevention?
PrEP HIV prevention is recommended for people who don’t have HIV and who are at a high risk of exposure to it from sex, injected drugs, or other means of transmission. You should consider taking PrEP if you:
- Are in an ongoing sexual relationship with an HIV-positive partner
- Have unprotected sex with multiple partners
- Have injected drugs in the past six months
- Have been in drug treatment or have worked in drug treatment in the past six months
- Are pregnant, breastfeeding, or want to have a baby with an HIV-positive partner
PrEP involves visits to your health care provider every three months and must be taken daily and consistently for it to be effective. If you have trouble remembering to take pills, PrEP might not be the best solution for your HIV prevention.
Don’t wait to start protecting yourself from HIV. Schedule an appointment today with the PrEP HIV prevention experts at Eastowne Family Physicians by calling the office or scheduling a visit online.