Daily PrEP to Prevent HIV

PrEP—Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis—is a daily pill that greatly reduces your risk of HIV infection. PrEP is much more effective at stopping HIV if you take it every day.

PrEP FAQs

Is PrEP right for me?+

PrEP may be right for you if you:

  • Are HIV-negative
  • May be exposed to HIV through sex or injecting drugs
  • Are ready to take a daily pill

Studies have shown that PrEP works for sexually-active gay and bisexual men, heterosexual women and men, and people who inject drugs. PrEP is also likely to benefit transgender persons. PrEP can help protect anyone whose partner has HIV.

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How does PrEP stop HIV?+

PrEP contains the same medicines that people with HIV use to stay healthy. Truvada®, the only medication approved as PrEP, is a combination of emtricitabine (Emtriva®) and tenofovir (Viread®).If you are exposed to HIV, these medicines can stop the virus from multiplying and spreading throughout your body. PrEP only works if you have enough medicine in your body, so you need to take it as prescribed.

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How do I take PrEP?+

With PrEP, you take a pill once a day, even on the days you don't have sex or inject drugs. PrEP is prescribed by a doctor or nurse.

  • Before you start PrEP, your doctor or nurse will test you to make sure that you do not have HIV and that your kidneys and liver are healthy.
  • While you are on PrEP, your doctor or nurse will test you regularly for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and will ask you whether you are taking PrEP every day.

To learn more about what to expect when taking PrEP, view the User's Guide to PrEP (PDF) Other languages (PDF): [Español]

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Is PrEP safe? What are the side effects?+

PrEP is safe. Truvada®, has been used to treat people with HIV since 2004.

Most people on PrEP do not report any side effects. For those who do, the most common side effects are nausea, upset stomach, fatigue and headaches. These symptoms often get better or go away within the first month of taking PrEP. Rare side effects include kidney or bone problems. Your doctor or nurse can help you manage any side effects.

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How well does PrEP work?+

In different studies, people who took PrEP consistently were over 90% less likely to get HIV than people in comparison groups who were not taking PrEP. PrEP does not provide 100% protection against HIV. You can still get HIV, especially if you do not take PrEP everyday.

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If I take PrEP, do I still have to use condoms?+

Condoms provide additional protection against HIV, even while you take PrEP. Condoms also protect against other sexually transmitted infections and prevent unintended pregnancy.

PrEP is an HIV prevention option for people who do not use condoms every time they have sex.

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Where can I get PrEP in New York City?+

Talk to your regular doctor or nurse, or find one of the many clinics with experience providing PrEP all over New York City by visiting Where to get PrEP and PEP

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How do I pay for PrEP?+

In New York State, PrEP is covered by Medicaid and most private health insurance. Call 311 for help getting Medicaid or low-cost insurance.

If you do not have health insurance, you may be eligible for a patient assistance program to help uninsured patients pay for PrEP. Your doctor or nurse can help you apply.

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How else can I stay HIV-negative?+

  • Know About Emergency PEP. If you are not taking PrEP and think you were recently exposed to HIV, go immediately to your doctor or an emergency room and ask for PEP, an emergency medication that can prevent HIV.
  • Use condoms as often as possible. Find the size and type of condom you like. Condoms are available for free in all five boroughs of New York City.
  • Use Lube. Use silicone or water-based or silicone-based lubricant, especially during anal sex.
  • Get Tested for HIV. An HIV test is the only way to know if you or a partner has HIV.
  • Talk to Your Partners About Testing. Ask your sex partners about the last time they had an HIV test. To be sure, get tested together.
  • Support Your Partners Living With HIV. Encourage partners living with HIV to get HIV care and take their medications every day, so they can stay healthy and reduce their chance of passing HIV to others.
  • Get Checked for Other Sexually Transmitted Infections. STIs can make it easier to get or spread HIV.
  • Avoid Alcohol and Drugs When You Have Sex. Drinking or getting high when you have sex can make it hard to remember to use condoms. For help to stop using, call (888) NYC-WELL (888-692-9355).
  • Use Clean Syringes. If you inject drugs, avoid sharing syringes, cookers, cottons and drug solutions. Clean syringes are available for free all over New York City.

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Provider Information+

For PrEP and PEP resources for healthcare professionals in New York City, visit Information for Providers.

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Additional Resources

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