PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis)

If you don't have HIV but are at risk, PrEP can help you stay free from HIV.

What is PrEP?

  • PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) can be pills or shots that reduce your chances of getting HIV.
  • PrEP can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body.
  • Only condoms protect against other STDs like syphilis and gonorrhea.

Is PrEP right for you?

Prep can help protect you if you DON'T have HIV and ANY of the following apply to you:

  • You have had anal or vaginal sex in the past 6 months and
    • have a sexual partner with HIV (especially if the partner has an unknown or detectable viral load),
    • have not consistently used a condom, or
    • have been diagnosed with an STD in the past 6 months.
  • You inject drugs and
    • have an injection partner with HIV, or
    • share needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment (for example, cookers)
  • You have been prescribed PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and
    • report continued risk behavior, or
    • have used multiple courses of PEP.

If you have a partner with HIV and are considering getting pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider about PrEP if you're not already taking it.

Visit your healthcare provider

  • To find out if PrEP is right for you.
  • Routinely as recommended for follow-up visits, HIV tests, and prescription refills or shots.
  • If you have any side effects while taking PrEP that become severe or don't go away.
  • If you don't have a provider, visit www.preplocator.org

How can you get help to pay for PrEP?

  • Most insurance programs and state Medicaid plans cover PrEP. You may also receive co-pay assistance to help lower the cost of PrEP.
  • The Ready, Set, PrEP program makes PrEP available at no cost to those who qualify. Learn more at https://readysetprep.hiv.gov/.
  • ViiVConnect offers a program to help patients pay for PrEP shots. Learn more at www.viivconnect.com.
  • If you don't have insurance, consider enrolling in an insurance marketplace, PrEP assistance program, or your state's Medicaid plan, if you are eligible.
  • Learn more about paying for PrEP at www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep/paying-for-prep.

For more information, call Donna Pledger-Brown, MSW at 757-683-2432 (office) or 757-354-6436 (cell) or email her at donna.brown2@vdh.virginia.gov.