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Frequently Asked Questions:

General HIV FAQ

+ How do I get tested for HIV?

Lab draw, POC, or take home test

+ How old can my negative HIV test be?

Up to 7 days.

+ How often do I test for HIV during PrEP therapy?

Up to 3 months

+ What if I get HIV?

Start HIV Treatment

+ What if I want to stop?

  • Talk to HCP about alternative prevention methods.

  • Has your risk for HIV decreased?

  • Do you find it difficult to take PrEP/PEP routinely?

  • Are the side effects interfering with your life?

  • Do blood tests show that PrEP is unsafe for your body?

+ I want to notify my partners that they may have been exposed to HIV, but I’m scared to tell them myself.

Free anonymous texting service to alert your sexual partners that they may have been exposed to HIV. Link within the message will include testing resources and what to do next.

If someone is tested positive: https://tellyourpartner.org/

PEP FAQ

+ How effective is PEP?

PEP reduces the risk of contracting HIV by more than 70% if taken consistently for 28 days. Further clinical trial results are needed to determine the efficacy and more accurate percentage of successfully preventing HIV contraction.

+ How long does PEP take to start working?

PEP must be taken within 72h of exposure and consistently for 28 days for maximum effect.

+ How long do I have to take PEP before I can start PrEP?

PEP should be taken for 1 month before beginning PrEP therapy.

+ What are the side effects?

The most common side effect is nausea. GI upset, mild headache, and loss of appetite are also expected, but all side effects are reduced with time. If a side effect persists, contact your HCP.

+ Do PrEP/PEP protect against other STIs?

No but the use of barrier devices, like condoms, help reduce the risk or STDs.

+ Do I need a prescription?

You need a prescription for PrEP and for PEP. Aviva Pharmacy can provide this prescription if eligible for treatment.

+ Who is eligible for PEP? What makes me eligible for PEP?

Persons who have had a potential high risk exposure to HIV.

PEP is only for emergency exposure situations. If you plan to have unprotected sex with a HIV+ partner multiple times, PrEP may be a better option for you.

+ What makes me ineligible for PrEP/PEP?

- PrEP/PEP is contraindicated for HIV+

- Still eligible for PEP is status unknown

- PrEP is contraindicated for renally(kidney) impaired individuals

- Followup Q: How do I know if I have renal impairment?

  • Creatinine clearance testing

  • TDF/FTC (Truvada) contraindicated if CrCl <60 mL/min

  • TAF/FTC (Descovoy) contraindicated if CrCl <30 mL/min

  • Retest every 6 months

+ What if I don’t have insurance?

+ Who should consider PrEP/PEP? Who is at risk?

- Individuals who have a:

  • HIV+ partner, OR

  • multiple partners, partners with multiple partners, or a partner with an unknown HIV status

AND

  • Have had unprotected anal sex, OR

  • STD diagnosis within the last 6 months

- Men and women who have a:

  • HIV+ partner, OR

  • multiple partners, partners with multiple partners, or a partner with an unknown HIV status

AND

  • Inconsistent condom use when having sex with IV drug users, OR

  • Inconsistent condom use with individual who participate in anal sex

  • People who inject drugs AND share needles/equipment OR are at risk for sexual contraction of HIV

  • Sexual assault victims

  • Accidental needle stick injury of healthcare worker

PrEP FAQ

+ How effective is PrEP?

When taken consistently, PrEP reduces the risk of contracting HIV through sex by at least 90% and up to 99% with safe sex practices.

In IV drug users, it reduces the risk of contracting HIV by 70%. Overall, PrEP offers a 92% decreased risk of contracting HIV when used consistently.

+ How long do I have to take PEP before I can start PrEP?

PEP should be taken for 1 month before beginning PrEP therapy.

+ How long do I have to take PrEP?

Like a birth control pill. PrEP is a pill that you must take daily for HIV prevention to be effective. This simple daily habit will help keep you protected and HIV free.

Every three months, you will retake the lab tests to determine that you can safely continue taking PrEP.

+ What are the side effects?

The most common side effect is nausea. GI upset, mild headache, and loss of appetite are also expected, but all side effects are reduced with time. If a side effect persists, contact your HCP.

+ Do PrEP/PEP protect against other STIs?

No but the use of barrier devices, like condoms, help reduce the risk or STDs.

+ What if I’m pregnant?

PrEP can help protect you and your baby from getting HIV. It can be taken while trying to conceive, while pregnant, and while breastfeeding.

+ Will PrEP interfere with hormone therapy?

No, there is no existing evidence of PrEP interacting with hormone therapy. However, check with your HCP to make sure no other medications are contraindicated for use with PrEP.

+ Do I need a prescription?

You need a prescription for PrEP and for PEP. Aviva Pharmacy can provide this prescription if eligible for treatment.

+ What tests may be required to start PrEP?

Baseline HIV, HIV-NAT (viral load), CrCl (creatinine), pregnancy, HBsAg, anti-HBs, anti-HBc-IgG, HAV (chronic HBV), HCV (hep c), STI, liver enzymes (ALT, AST).

+ Who is eligible for PrEP? What makes me eligible for PrEP?

- Persons who are at high risk for contracting HIV.

- PrEP may be an option for you if you plan to have unprotected sex with an HIV+ individual or your lifestyle exposes you to a high risk for contracting HIV. Additionally, you may want to consider PrEP if you have used PEP multiple times.

+ What makes me ineligible for PrEP/PEP?

- PrEP/PEP is contraindicated for HIV+

- Still eligible for PEP is status unknown

- PrEP is contraindicated for renally(kidney) impaired individuals.

- Followup Q: How do I know if I have renal impairment?

  • Creatinine clearance testing

  • TDF/FTC (Truvada) contraindicated if CrCl <60 mL/min

  • TAF/FTC (Descovoy) contraindicated if CrCl <30 mL/min

  • Retest every 6 months

+ What if I don’t have insurance?

- Medication assistance programs, contact local health department, HIV service organizations, manufacturer’s medication assistance programs, State PrEP assistance programs.

- Ready, Set, PrEP

- Co-pay assistance programs

- Gileadadvacingaccess.com

- Tevahivgenerics.com

- nastad.org/prepcost-resources/prep-assistance-programs

+ Who should consider PrEP/PEP? Who is at risk?

- Individuals who have a

  • HIV+ partner, OR

  • multiple partners, partners with multiple partners, or a partner with an unknown HIV status

AND

  • Have had unprotected anal sex, OR

  • STD diagnosis within the last 6 months

- Men and women who have a

  • HIV+ partner, OR

  • multiple partners, partners with multiple partners, or a partner with an unknown HIV status

AND

  • Inconsistent condom use when having sex with IV drug users, OR

  • Inconsistent condom use with individual who participate in anal sex

  • People who inject drugs AND share needles/equipment OR are at risk for sexual contraction of HIV

  • Sexual assault victims

  • Accidental needle stick injury of healthcare worker