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"PrEP" stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It’s about taking a medicine before you might be exposed to HIV through a sexual or needle-sharing contact. The medicine can protect you from getting HIV if you take it daily.

PrEP is a good option for some people. PrEP might be a good choice to prevent HIV if:

  • You have a sexual partner who is living with HIV.
  • You’re a gay/bisexual man or a man who has sex with other men (MSM) and you have more than one male sex partner.
  • You are a transgender individual who has male sex partners.
  • You’ve had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the last 6 months.
  • You inject drugs.
  • You’ve traded sex for either money and/or drugs.

PrEP can further reduce your risk of getting HIV, even if you’re using other forms of protection.

  • Using condoms is prevention for both HIV and STD.
  • Having persons with HIV stay on treatment reduces the amount of virus in their bodies. That makes them much less likely to spread the virus.

PrEP is now an option for teens. As of 2018, the FDA expanded approval for PrEP medication to be taken for adolescents at risk, as long as they weigh at least 77 pounds.

Is PrEP safe?

PrEP can cause side effects like nausea in some people, but these usually go away after a while. They haven’t yet seen serious or life threatening side effects. If you are taking PrEP, tell your health care provider about any side effects that are severe or do not go away.

More and more people are using PrEP across the country. But it’s still important for more persons at risk to use PrEP to avoid getting HIV.

How can I get help to pay for PrEP?

The cost of PrEP is covered by many health insurance plans, and a commercial medication assistance program provides free PrEP to people with limited income and no insurance to cover PrEP care.

Basics about PrEP: A Quick “101”

Is PrEP right for me?

How can I start on PrEP?

For more information:


To find a PrEP Provider, from the search form choose "PrEP" for the service you want to find.

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