How Does PrEP Work?

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a medication developed to help people at risk for HIV to take to prevent getting HIV from both sex and injection drug use. PrEP was approved for adult use in 2012 and currently, there are two medications prescribed for PrEP—Truvada, and Descovy. How does it work? We examine how PrEP works as well as how to use PrEP safely and effectively.

How It Works

PrEP prevents HIV from replicating in the body. The medication helps the body produce antibodies and if it encounters the HIV virus, the active ingredients (tenofovir and emtricitabine) actually block the enzyme that is necessary for the virus to replicate.

When taken as directed, it’s 99% effective at preventing HIV infection. If someone is exposed to the virus when taking PrEP, it will reduce the likelihood of becoming infected. The medication is taken one of two ways, including one tablet per day for seven days and every day. This HIV prevention medication is most effective when used as directed.

Who Should Take These Medications?

PrEP is most effective for people who do not already have HIV, but who are more likely to come into contact. This includes sexually active people and those who use intravenous drugs and share needles. It can also be taken by any one of any gender who has risk factors for contracting HIV.

How Can I Get a Prescription?

M-Care is partnering with Positive Directions to make PrEP access faster and easier for those in the community. The first step is to get initial bloodwork done to test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Then, you are screened for kidney function and receive your prescription in the same visit. Every three months, you follow up at M-Care to monitor your medication and how you’re responding to it.

Safe Sex

PrEP is an effective tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS. However, condoms are still recommended for those who have multiple sexual partners to help prevent other STIs outside of HIV. Don’t be pressured to have sex with someone without a condom and don’t pressure others to have sex with you without one. Condoms remain a practical way to prevent STIs as well as unwanted pregnancy.

M-Care and PrEP

Contact Positive Directions at 316-263-2214 to set up your initial bloodwork and after that is complete, M-Care can provide your renal function evaluation and prescription. If you have any questions or need to set up new patient paperwork, you can contact us.


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