To help people and communities across New Hampshire stay healthy, Concord Feminist Health Center offers HIV prevention services, including Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).
Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) If you don’t have HIV but are at a high risk of contracting it, PrEP can be a way of reducing that likelihood. PrEP involves taking the pill Truvada every day. Truvada contains two medicines — tenofovir and emtricitabine. If you take Truvada as PrEP daily, the presence of the medication in your cell’s tissue can stop the virus from establishing itself and slow the spread of HIV in your body. When taken consistently (missing doses of Truvada decreases it’s effectiveness), PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at a high risk by 92%.
If any of the following risk behaviors apply to you, you may want to consider taking PrEP:
- HIV-positive sex partner/s
- High number of sex partners
- In high-prevalence (HIV) area/network
- Sharing injection equipment/needles
- History of inconsistent or no condom use
- Commercial sex work
Receiving Truvada for PrEP here at Equality Health Center requires ongoing appointments at our office. For your first appointment you will have a full physical checkup, including an HIV test and several other lab tests. At this appointment we will schedule you for another appointment one month after your first visit, and then every 3 months thereafter. At each appointment you will have an HIV test as well any other necessary lab tests.
While rare, a small percentage of clients receiving Truvada can develop serious side effects such as:
- Lactic acidosis
- Severe liver problems
- Worsening of hepatitis B infection
- Kidney problems
- Bone problems
- Changes in body fat
If you are HIV positive and take Truvada, it can cause changes in your immune system that could result in HIV drug treatment-resistance. Clients taking Truvada for PrEP must call our office right away if they have any of the following symptoms: feeling weak or tired, fever, sweating a lot (especially at night), rash, vomiting, diarrhea, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, or enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or groin.
The following Gilead Truvada link has more details of important safety information on taking Truvada for PrEP: https://start.truvada.com/#isi
PrEP with Truvada is covered under many insurance plans. For uninsured individuals that make less than $24,000.00, Truvada is available at no cost. See link here: https://start.truvada.com/Content/pdf/Medication_Assistance_Program.pdf
Please call our office to learn more and to see if PrEP might be right for you.