PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. It is a medication designed to prevent HIV, with a 99% effectiveness rate. PrEP is most effective when taken at least 4 times a week and used in conjunction with condoms.
For individuals who are sexually active, it may be important to consider PrEP if:
- You engage in unprotected sex
- You have more than one partner
- You are unsure of the HIV status of your partner(s)
- You use substances like alcohol or other drugs before or during sex
- You are in a relationship with an HIV-positive partner (who isn’t yet undetectable)
You should also consider PrEP if you use and/or share needles for injection drug use.
Apertude is an injectable form of PrEP administered once every other month. Apertude, like oral Truvada and Descovy, reduces your chances of contracting HIV when exposed and is a great option for people who may have trouble remembering to take a pill each day. A person taking injectable PrEP, who is not able to get an injection on time, may take oral PrEP to ensure they remain protected until the next injection.
When using PrEP, quarterly blood tests will be taken to ensure PrEP is not negatively affecting your kidneys or liver.
A licensed healthcare provider will be able to prescribe PrEP to you. If for some reason your provider cannot provide you with the appropriate lab tests and/or a PrEP prescription, you can always ask for a referral or use AIDS Institute NY Provider Directory to find a provider who can. In New York State, adolescents up to age 18 can consent to their own HIV treatment and HIV preventive services without parental/guardian involvement:
- The FDA has approved the use of Truvada for adolescents regardless of gender,
- Descovy is for adolescent cis-gender males only, and
Injectable PrEP, may be an option for adolescents who weigh at least 77 lbs.
Most insurances, including Medicaid, will cover oral PrEP (Truvada and Descovy). If you are worried that your insurance won’t cover the cost of PrEP, the following may be able to help:
If you’re insured but are worried about paying for the co-pay, the following may be able to help:
If you do not have insurance and need help paying for visits and lab work you can still receive PrEP through:
You may be eligible for one of the payment programs for both the injectable PrEP (Apertude) or the oral PrEP (Truvada and Descovy).