Using PrEP as prevention against HIV

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PrEP — short for pre-exposure prophylaxis — is a daily medication for people who are not living with HIV but who are at a high risk of getting it.

If you take PrEP every day, you can drastically reduce your chances of getting HIV. It’s a good choice if you’re:
• In a relationship with somebody who is living with HIV
• Having sex without a condom regularly
• Using injected drugs and sharing needles and works

PrEP is all about reducing your risk of getting HIV. Let’s dig deeper into how that happens:

What you need to know about PrEP

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Start with the Be Boss mindset. Bosses are leaders. They have responsibilities — like taking control of their health and their body and making sure they protect themselves from HIV.

HIV isn’t the end of the world, but you’re far better off taking steps to avoid getting the disease in the first place. Here’s how PrEP helps:

PrEP means pre-exposure prophylaxis, which means preventing HIV before you’re exposed to it. (PEP, another HIV-preventative option, means post-exposure prophylaxis. It’s for when you strongly suspect you’ve already been exposed to the virus.)

PrEP can reduce your chances of getting HIV by up to 90% or more. If you’re an injection-drug user, it can lower your odds by about 70%. Those are great odds.


How to take PrEP

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PrEP starts with a conversation with your doctor. You’re going to want to tell your doctor everything you’re doing that might expose you to HIV, that way you know you’re getting the best treatment plan.

If your doctor agrees PrEP is right for you, you’ll get a prescription that usually involves one pill to take every day.

Remember: Every day means every day. Taking days off makes it much easier for HIV to spread in your body.

PrEP can sometimes have mild side effects like nausea that usually go away in a week or two.

When you meet with your doctor to talk about PrEP, ask about potential side effects so you know what to expect.


PrEP and condoms

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PrEP is not a cure. It’s not even a vaccine. It’s an anti-retroviral therapy that prevents HIV from spreading in your bloodstream. And because PrEP is only 90% effective, you need help with the last 10%.

You might think that since you’re taking PrEP, you don’t need to use a condom when you’re having sex. Sorry to break it to you, but it’s not that simple. PrEP does nothing to prevent other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or an unplanned pregnancy.

And this is why health experts never shut up about condoms: They do an enormous amount of good. They’re cheap, easy to find, easy to use, and don’t require a doctor’s OK.

Combining PrEP with condoms means you can have the sex life you want without worrying so much about STIs.


Getting set up with PrEP

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If you’re a Be Boss believer, you’ve got what it takes to make up your mind about PrEP.

Setting up a PrEP appointment is as easy as making a phone call. Our appointment line is (216)721-4010. Let us know you would like to schedule a 20-minute PrEP appointment. It’s that simple!

You’re the boss of your body. If you have a question or concern please contact us for information about STI testing and treatment or other health services.

HIV walk-in testing hours:
Mon – Thurs 1 pm – 7 pm
HIV Services (216) 707-3448

STI walk-in medical testing:
Wed  11 am – 3:30 pm
Thurs 9 am – 11:30 am

PrEP or STI medical testing by appointment:
(216) 721-4010

Testing Location:
Circle Health Services
12201 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106



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