You want to protect your HIV-negative partners from becoming infected. The simple way to do this is to either refrain from high-risk sex (such as anal or vaginal sex without condoms) or always use a condom. There are also some considerations that you might think about to reduce the risk of HIV transmission to your partner or partners.
PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)
The CDC recommends that PrEP is for people without HIV who are at very high risk for getting it from sex or injection drug use. The federal guidelines recommend that PrEP be considered for people who are HIV-negative and in an ongoing sexual relationship with an HIV-positive partner.
PrEP is also recommended for people who have injected drugs in the past 6 months and have shared needles or been in drug treatment in the past 6 months.
If you have a partner who is HIV-positive and are considering getting pregnant, talk to your doctor about PrEP if you’re not already taking it. PrEP may be an option to help protect you and your baby from getting HIV infection while you try to get pregnant, during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.
Because PrEP involves daily medication and regular visits to a health care provider, it may not be right for everyone. And PrEP may cause side effects like nausea in some people, but these generally subside over time. These side effects aren’t life threatening.
PrEP reaches maximum protection from HIV for receptive anal sex at about 7 days of daily use. For all other activities, including insertive anal sex, vaginal sex, and injection drug use, PrEP reaches maximum protection at about 20 days of daily use.
Some insurance will cover PrEP, for those whose insurance won’t cover PrEP, Gilead may be able to help those with lower incomes. To learn more about this program, go online at https://start.truvada.com/.
PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis)
PEP must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV, but the sooner you start PEP, the better. Every hour counts. If you’re prescribed PEP, you’ll need to take it once or twice daily for 28 days. PEP is effective in preventing HIV when administered correctly, but not 100%. PEP should only be used in emergency situations and should not be used by someone after every time they have unprotected sex or use a dirty needle.
UNDETECTABLE VIRAL LOAD
Copyright 2018, Positive Health Publications, Inc.
This magazine is intended to enhance your relationship with your doctor - not replace it! Medical treatments and products should always be discussed with a licensed physician who has experience treating HIV and AIDS!