PrEP for Her
African American women experience a disproportionate rate of new HIV diagnoses compared to their female, white peers, with a majority of new diagnoses as a result of heterosexual contact with a HIV positive partner. For women looking to take control of their sexual health and prevent their risk of HIV, PrEP is safe for women and highly effective at preventing HIV.
What is PrEP?
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, also known as PrEP, is a daily medication for people who are HIV negative but may be at a high risk of contracting HIV. When used correctly, PrEP is more than 99% effective at preventing HIV.
Who is PrEP for?
Anyone can be diagnosed with HIV so everyone should take preventative measures to protect themselves against HIV. PrEP is for anyone who is HIV-negative and having unprotected sex. If you have a sexual partner who is HIV-positive, does not consistently use condoms or has been diagnosed with an STI in the past six months, talk to your ACCESS provider about PrEP. If you use injectable drugs, you may also be at risk for HIV and should consider using PrEP.
Can I take PrEP while on birth control?
There are no known interactions between PrEP and hormone-based birth control methods, e.g., the pill, patch, ring, shot, implant, or IUD. It is safe to use both at the same time.
Does PrEP impact my hormone therapy?
There are no known drug conflicts between PrEP and hormone therapy. It is safe to continue treatments at the same time.
Can I take PrEP during pregnancy?
Yes. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and studies on PrEP, PrEP pills are safe for pregnant women and especially recommended if your partner’s viral load is detectable or unknown. Studies suggest that it doesn’t increase the risk of miscarriage or birth defects.
PrEP injections are relatively new and have not been studied in pregnant women yet, so it is recommended to avoid PrEP injectables during pregnancy. If you have questions or concerns, ask your ACCESS women’s health provider to better understand your options.
Does PrEP protect against other STIs?
PrEP doesn’t protect against other STIs. To prevent STIs including syphilis, gonorrhea or herpes, use condoms every time you have sex. ACCESS health centers provide free condoms and if you don’t see them at the front desk, ask your provider at your next visit.
Does PrEP cure HIV/AIDS?
No, it does not cure HIV/AIDS. However, the use of PrEP in HIV prevention is considered to be one of the most significant milestones in the battle against HIV/AIDS. It is important to remember that PrEP is most effective when combined with other forms of protection against HIV, such as using condoms and avoiding needles for drug use.
How can I get connected to PrEP?
The first step to getting PrEP is to make an appointment with an ACCESS PrEP Navigator. Talk to them about your concerns and they can get you connected to a provider. PrEP is only for individuals who are HIV-negative so before you are prescribed PrEP, you will have to get an HIV test to confirm your HIV-negative status.
How can I pay for PrEP?
PrEP is covered by Medicaid and by many private insurance companies. If you don’t have insurance, ACCESS PrEP Navigators can connect you with resources to help pay for PrEP.
How Can We Help
For more information on PrEP and other HIV services that ACCESS provides, call 312.526.2660 to schedule an appointment.
Published January 17, 2024