Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, can drastically reduce your chances of becoming infected with HIV if you know you’re at risk. Once you become a patient of I & B Medical Associates, your caring physician will go through your options with you. In many cases, you can start your PrEP treatment plan right away. It’s easy to schedule an appointment to find out if PrEP is right for you: Either call or book an appointment online.
PrEP treatments are not only exclusively for men they are available to women as well. Patient assistance programs for PrEP are available in coordination with Hope and Help of Central Florida. Please inquire with one of our providers for additional information.
Why is HIV prevention important?
Human immunodeficiency virus, more commonly known as HIV, is a viral attack on your immune system. The virus destroys certain white blood cells — T-helper or cd4 cells — while copying itself inside those white blood cells. As the virus continues breaking down healthy blood cells, your immune system gradually weakens.
If this should happen, you’ll have a harder time-fighting infections and diseases, leaving you vulnerable to major illnesses. In just 10-15 years, untreated HIV can do so much damage that your immune system might stop working altogether. Because your health and your life is at stake, it’s critical for you to take precautions in preventing HIV from spreading.
PrEP is short for pre-exposure prophylaxis. Your practitioner at I & B Medical Associates might suggest going through PrEP treatments if you have a very high risk of HIV. This treatment involves taking two different HIV medications every day to help reduce your chances of HIV infection.
While you should always use protection during sexual activity, PrEP therapy can further decrease your risk of HIV if you know your partner is HIV positive. PrEP has been proven to be more than 90% effective against HIV infection from sexual intercourse when it’s used exactly how your doctor prescribes it. If your risk stems from sharing needles, PrEP can reduce your HIV infection chances by as much as 70%.
You should consider PrEP if you know your partner has HIV, if you share needles with someone else who might have HIV and/or if you have multiple sexual partners or are a sex worker. It’s also common for all LGBTQ+ adults who aren’t in mutually monogamous relationships to get PrEP treatment, especially if condom use is infrequent during sexual intercourse.
Your doctor must confirm your negative HIV status before starting PrEP. That’s why it’s essential to be open and honest with your practitioner. If you hide details about your lifestyle, your doctor might not be able to help you prevent HIV with the use of PrEP.
Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or who want to become pregnant might be able to take PrEP as well. This may be an option for protecting you and your baby if your partner is HIV-positive.