PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. It is the use of anti-HIV medications before an exposure to reduce the risk of HIV infection. The only drug that is FDA-approved for PrEP is a prescription medication sold under the brand name Truvada®.
One Pill. Daily.
PrEP is a once-a-day prevention pill that is up to 99% effective when taken every day.
PrEP is covered by most plans. If not, we help find assistance for any gaps in coverage.
You're in control.
PrEP gives you peace of mind and connects you with health providers to keep you on track for a healthy life.
What is PrEP?
PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is an FDA-approved, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended daily prevention pill for HIV-negative people who are especially vulnerable to getting HIV. Taken daily, PrEP is up to 99% effective at preventing HIV.
Many people who take PrEP report they experience peace of mind while having sex. That peace of mind brings relief from the intense fear — and stigma — of HIV that has characterized our sexual lives for far too long. PrEP users also report feeling safer in their relationships and more in control regarding their sexual health and wellness. What’s sexier than that?
“Before I used to be in a complete panic & dread whenever I'd go to the STI clinic and waiting to hear the results. But now, it's so routine going in every 3 months to check in with my doctor, I feel assured that I'm free of HIV. I never thought I could have such an experience. I’m thankful for the Damien Center and everything they do to keep the LGBTQ+ community thriving for years to come.” – PrEP Patient at Damien
We have the answers.
What is PrEP?
How does PrEP work?
When taken as prescribed, PrEP creates a protective barrier around your immune cells so HIV cannot use these cells to reproduce itself and infect you. If exposed to HIV, this protection forces the virus to die because it has nothing to sustain itself in your body.
Who is PrEP for?
PrEP is for anyone vulnerable to HIV infection, including: any sexually active HIV-negative person with inconsistent condom use (regardless of sexual identity), HIV-negative individuals with an HIV-positive sexual partner, and injection drug users.
How effective is PrEP?
PrEP is currently prescribed as a once daily pill of Truvada. When taken as prescribed, clinical studies show PrEP to be more than 90% effective; and can provide up to 99% protection. The daily regimen must be taken consecutively for 21 days to reach maximum protection, and then continued each day to keep this level of protection.
Is PrEP safe? Are there any side effects?
PrEP is safe and is typically well-tolerated. The most common side effects recorded with PrEP use are upset stomach, headaches, and weight loss; however, many people experience no side effects at all. If you do, they usually happen in the first few weeks of starting as your body gets use to the medication and are known to be temporary. No long-term side effects have been observed when taking PrEP. Also, there are no side effects caused by stopping PrEP.
How do I pay for PrEP?
PrEP is covered by most insurance plans, which includes medical plans through your employer, the marketplace, Medicaid, and Medicare. Also, there is payment assistance available for any gaps in coverage you may experience.
Does PrEP protect against other STIs?
While PrEP does not protect against other STIs or unwanted pregnancy, it can be paired with condoms and other prevention strategies for additional protection. It is also important to remember an HIV/STI screening is required every three months while on PrEP, and our clinic will provide treatment if you contract an STI while in care with us.
Will I need to take PrEP for the rest of my life?
No. With proper medical guidance, people can safely start and stop taking PrEP at different points in their lives. Because your risk of HIV infection depends on your behaviors, you may decrease your risk by simply starting a monogamous relationship; therefore, no longer needing PrEP. Be sure to consult a knowledgeable healthcare provider before starting or ending a PrEP regimen.
Where can I get PrEP?
Who is PrEP for?
PrEP is about self-determination. It’s a tool you can choose to make your sex life safer and take control of your sexual health and wellness. PrEP is designed for people who are HIV-negative and vulnerable to getting HIV. PrEP can be prescribed for gay and bisexual men, for heterosexual men and women, for transgender individuals, and for genderqueer or nonbinary people. PrEP can also help people who inject drugs stay HIV-negative.
You might consider PrEP if:
• You don’t always use condoms (external or internal) when you have anal or vaginal intercourse.
“Always” means every time, not sometimes.
• You don’t always ask your partner(s) to wear a condom.
• You have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection in the last six months.
• You’re unsure of the HIV status of your sexual partners.
• You're in a relationship with an HIV-positive partner who may or may not be on HIV treatment.
• You are a person who injects drugs, or you’re in a sexual relationship with an injection drug user.
• You’re HIV-negative and interested in PrEP.
Learn more about the services provided by The Damien Center and Damien Cares at www.damien.org.
The Damien Center
The Damien Center is Indiana’s oldest and largest HIV and AIDS service organization. As one of the largest referrers of PrEP in Indiana, it is our goal to ensure equal access to everyone who may need PrEP. Building on past partnerships, we look to increase access and knowledge of HIV related services in our fight to end the epidemic.