With modern technology and science, it’s now possible to get PrEP for HIV via telemedicine. Here are answers to many of your questions about getting and using PrEP.
With the advancement of telemedicine, consulting a medical provider has never been easier. With a few clicks of a button, you can visit a medical professional either online or over the phone, whether that’s for digital addiction treatment or other harm reduction services, like accessing PrEP.
This article briefly explores what PrEP is, who it’s suitable for, the different types of PrEP, on-demand PrEP, and accessing PrEP online.
What is PrEP?
The term PrEP refers to pre-exposure prophylaxis. It refers to a medicine taken to prevent the transmission of HIV from drug use and sex. When taken as prescribed, it is highly effective. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), taking PrEP
- Reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by up to 99 percent
- Reduces the risk of transmission from IV drug use by at least 74 percent
Who should be taking PrEP for HIV?
There are three main groups of people who might want to consider taking PrEP:
- Those who inject drugs and share needles and other drug equipment
- If your partner has HIV
- Those having unprotected sex
Are there different types of PrEP?
Yes. There are two medications that are used as PrEP, Descovy and Truvada. They are used differently. Truvada is used to prevent the transmission of HIV thhough sex or injection drug use, and Descovy is used for people at risk of HIV through sex.
Can I take PrEP when I need it?
Yes. This is known as PrEP “on demand.” PrEP on demand is suitable for those who are at risk of getting HIV. It is usually taken in a schedule of 2 pills 2–24 hours before sex, 1 pill 24 hours after the first dose, and 1 pill 24 hours later.
While some organizations in the United States, Canada, and Europe offer PrEP on demand, it is not currently part of CDC guidelines for the use of PrEP.
Can you get PrEP for HIV online?
Yes. You can access PrEP via telemedicine through phone or video consultation. You may be asked to conduct an HIV test before starting the medication. You can contact a local PrEP provider via the PrEP locator website.
We offer PrEP via digital medicine at Workit Health for those in our medically-assisted treatment clinic for opioids or alcohol.
Is PrEP safe?
According to the CDC, PrEP is safe to take but some people experience side effects, including: diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, headache, and fatigue. However, these side effects usually dissipate over time.