Do You Think You Have Been Exposed To The HIV Virus In The Past 24 Hours?​

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What is PrEP?

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a powerful tool in the fight against HIV and an important option for people at high risk of contracting the virus. Our team of healthcare professionals is dedicated to providing accurate information and access to PrEP medication to help reduce the risk of HIV infection. We understand the importance of taking control of your sexual health and our goal is to provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment for our patients. Our healthcare professionals will work with you to determine if PrEP is right for you and provide the necessary information and support to help you stay on track with your medication. Don't let HIV risk control your life, take charge of your sexual health with PrEP. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

HIV

Yes, HIV is a treatable condition. There are several antiretroviral (ARV) drugs available that can effectively suppress the virus, allowing people living with HIV to lead long and healthy lives. These drugs work by preventing the virus from replicating and damaging the immune system, which allows the body to repair itself and maintain a healthy immune response. When used in combination, these medications are known as antiretroviral therapy (ART), and they are able to reduce the amount of virus in the blood, known as the viral load, to undetectable levels. When a person's viral load is undetectable, they are considered to have achieved viral suppression, which reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to others. HIV is a chronic condition, so people living with HIV will likely need to take ART for the rest of their lives, but with the right care and support, people with HIV can live long, healthy lives and lead a good quality of life. It's important to consult with a healthcare provider who can provide the right treatment and support.

HIV is primarily transmitted through certain bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. The most common ways that people become infected with HIV are through: 

Unprotected sexual contact: HIV can be transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex. 

Sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs: HIV can be transmitted when needles or other equipment that has been used by an HIV-positive person is reused by someone else. 

From mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding: HIV can be transmitted from a mother living with HIV to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. 

Blood transfusion or organ transplant: HIV can be transmitted through blood transfusions or organ transplants with infected blood or organs. 

It's important to note that HIV is not transmitted through everyday activities like hugging, shaking hands, or sharing utensils. 

It's also worth mentioning that, although the risk of transmitting HIV through oral sex is lower than that of other sexual behaviors, it is still possible to transmit the virus by this way. 

If you are pregnant and living with HIV, it's important to seek medical care right away. With appropriate medical care and treatment, the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV can be significantly reduced. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the most effective method for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. ART can suppress the virus in the mother's body, lowering the risk of the virus being passed on to the baby during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or breastfeeding. If you're pregnant and HIV-positive, you'll be closely monitored by a team of healthcare professionals, including an obstetrician, an HIV specialist and a pediatrician. They will work together to ensure the best possible care for you and your baby. They may advise you to start the ART treatment or adjust the current regimen during pregnancy. This is necessary to achieve an undetectable viral load, which is critical in minimizing the chance of mother-to-child transmission. It's also important to know that there is a small chance that your child may still become infected despite all the preventative measures. Therefore it's important to test the baby for HIV shortly after birth and continue monitoring the baby's HIV status after delivery. It's worth noting that mother-to-child transmission of HIV is rare in developed countries due to improved treatment and awareness, as long as the mother is diagnosed and treated early.

Whether this is your first encounter or you've been here before, the good news is Prep is highly effective when taken as prescribed. Prep is the treatment of choice for you.

  1. Who should consider taking PrEP?

    PrEP is intended for people who are HIV-negative and at high risk of contracting the virus through sex, specifically for people who are in an ongoing sexual relationship with an HIV-positive partner and for men and transgender women who have sex with men and who have a high number of partners, a history of sexually transmitted infections, or inconsistent condom use. Injection drug users or individuals who share needles also should consider taking PrEP

  2. How effective is PrEP?

    When taken consistently as prescribed, PrEP has been shown to be highly effective in reducing the risk of HIV infection. According to the CDC, when taken daily, PrEP can reduce the risk of HIV infection by more than 90%. 

  3. How long do I need to take PrEP?

    The duration of PrEP use will be determined by your healthcare provider and will depend on your specific risk factors. PrEP should be continued as long as an individual remains at risk for HIV.

  4. Is PrEP covered by insurance?

    PrEP is typically covered by most insurance plans, including Medicaid. Additionally, there are programs to help people who are uninsured or underinsured afford the medication.

  5. Are there any side effects associated with PrEP?

    Most people who take PrEP experience no side effects, but some people may experience mild side effects such as stomach discomfort, headache, or fatigue. These side effects are usually short-lived and do not require stopping the medication.

  6. Does taking PrEP mean I can stop using condoms?

    No, PrEP should not be used as a replacement for condoms, it works in conjunction with other preventive measures, condoms, for example, to reduce the risk of other STIs.

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Talk to a Lilfeline Health staff member by phone or in-person at your local health center to get the care you need. Make an appointment online or call 1-888-202-6052.

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