HIV Alliance is now providing referrals for PrEP and PEP. Taking PEP can help prevent HIV after one-time potential exposures. PrEP is a daily pill taken to prevent infection if a person comes into contact with HIV. These can help us end new infections. When taken consistently, PrEP can reduce the risk of becoming HIV infected by more than 90%. Because PrEP and PEP are relatively new tools, many providers have not heard of it or may not be aware of the science showing how effective PrEP can be. There is no shame in being on PrEP, and it does not mean you’re promiscuous. It means you’re taking steps to protect yourself and your partners. All PrEP appointments are confidential and we respect your privacy.
Our PrEP and PEP Assistance program is available for people living in Lane, Douglas, Josephine, Jackson, Lincoln, Coos, Curry, Marion, Clatsop, Klamath and Lake Counties. Please fill out the form below and our PrEP Coordinator will contact you.
Don’t have a primary care physician?
We can help you find one.
Need help educating your primary care physician?
We can help you with that, and/or refer you to Infectious disease specialists. We can also help you sign up for Oregon Health Plan, or navigate your current health insurance.
Did you know that there are patient assistance programs to help you with co-pays?
Let us help with that too!
There is a profound psychological impact to being on PrEP that can help make your sex life more enjoyable, especially if your partner has HIV. You can both be put at ease during sex knowing that there is an additional layer of protection against the virus. With PrEP, you are in control of protecting yourself from HIV as oppose to relying on someone else’s behaviors which can be inconsistent, e.g. medication adherence, awareness of safer sex strategies, regularly testing, etc.
PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. The goal of PrEP is to prevent HIV infection from taking hold if you are exposed to the virus. This is done by taking a pill that contains 2 HIV medications every day. These are the same medicines used to stop the virus from growing in people who are already infected.
PrEP, like most prescriptions, is not for everyone. You should consider PrEP if you are a man or woman who sometimes has sex without using a condom, especially if you have a sex partner who you know has HIV infection. You should also consider PrEP if you don’t know whether your partner has HIV infection but you know that your partner is at risk (for example, your partner injects drugs or is having sex with other people in addition to you) or if you have recently been told by a health care provider that you had a sexually transmitted infection. If your partner has HIV infection, PrEP may be an option to help protect you from getting HIV infection while you try to get pregnant, during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.
The clinical trials also provided safety information on PrEP. Some people in the trials had early side effects such as an upset stomach or loss of appetite but these were mild and usually went away within the first month. Some people also had a mild headache. No serious side effects were observed. You should tell your doctor if these or other symptoms become severe or do not go away.
You should not stop using condoms because you are taking PrEP. If PrEP is taken daily, it offers a lot of protection against HIV infection, but nothing is 100%. Condoms also offer a lot of protection against HIV infection if they are used correctly every time you have sex, but not 100%. PrEP medications don’t give you any protection from other infections you can get during sex, but condoms do. So you will get the most protection from HIV and other sexual infections if you consistently take PrEP medication and consistently use condoms during sex.
PrEP has been tested in several large studies with men who have sex with men, men who have sex with women and women who have sex with men. Everyone in these studies (1) were tested at the beginning of the trial to be sure they did not currently have HIV, (2) agreed to take an oral PrEP pill daily, (3) received intensive counseling on safer-sex behavior, (4) were tested regularly for sexually transmitted infections, (5) and were given a regular supply of condoms. Several studies showed that PrEP reduced the risk of HIV transmission.
These stats and additional studies can be found at www.cdc.gov/hiv/prep
Here is a list of Providers (Oregon and Washington): http://pivotpdx.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/PrEP-Provider-List-OR-and-WA3.pdf
Copyright 2015 HIV Alliance.
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