Pre-exposure prophylaxis


Pre-exposure prophylaxis is commonly known as PrEP. PrEP is a daily medication that some can take when they are at risk for Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is important to note that HIV and AIDS are different, the person must have HIV first in order for it to progress and be diagnosed as AIDS. There is two medications that are FDA approved for daily use as PrEP to help prevent someone without HIV from getting the virus through sex or injection drug use. It is essential to take PrEP as prescribed by your doctor to increase the effectiveness of preventing HIV.

It is recommended that PrEP be used for those who are HIV-negative who have had anal or vaginal sex in the past 6 months and:
• Have a sexual partner with HIV. Especially those who have an unknown or detective viral load.
• Do not consistently use a condom.
• Have been diagnosed with an sexually transmitted infection in the past 6 months.

It is also recommended for those who use injection drugs and:
• Have an injection partner with HIV
• Share syringes, needles, and/or other injection drug equipment

If someone has been prescribed PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and :
• Have continued risk behaviors
• Been prescribed and used multiple courses of PEP.

If you have an HIV-positive partner and are considering becoming pregnant or are pregnant, it is important to talk switch your doctor and see if PrEP would be a good option for protecting yourself and your baby from contracting HIV while trying to get pregnant, during pregnancy, and/or breastfeeding.

It is important to use PrEP medication daily along with regular health care visits. You should continue using condoms even if you are using PrEP. Although side effects may vary it is common for nausea to occur but it can get better over time. It is important to discuss your medical history with your doctor to know if PrEP is right for you. If you are experiencing side effects from the medicine that are becoming an interference with your life, or if your blood tests show that you are having unsafe reactions to PrEP, your doctor may stop prescribing you PrEP.

PrEP. (2020, June 04). Retrieved July 22, 2020, from

The information above came from the CDC website.

If you are wanting more information in regards to PrEP click the link below!!
If you have general questions about PrEP, do not hesitate to reach out to Western Colorado Health Network’s PrEP Coordinator, Kayla Dilley at or call and ask for her at 970-243-2437.