Ask the Doc :: PrEP?
Dear Dr. Jason,
I have a lot of sexual partners, and I'm wondering what to do about PrEP. I mean, I don't have a lot of unsafe sex, but it occasionally has happened (so shoot me). Should I go see my doctor to start a PrEP regimen after every such incident?
Wanting the truth
Doctor Jason's Response:
There are 2 entities to be aware of: PrEP and nPEP. PrEP is "Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis" where you take medication daily in order to try to prevent infection regardless of incidents, as opposed to nPEP which is "non-occupational Post-Exposure Prophylaxis" where you take medication daily for 4 weeks in order to try to prevent infection within 72 hours of an incident.
PrEP has become a hot topic in the past year due to the results of a few international studies which demonstrated up to a 73% reduction in the risk of acquiring HIV for those who took PrEP. At the current time, however, there are no specific guidelines regarding PrEP.
Situations in which it would be reasonable to discuss the possibility of PrEP with your health care provider include having a regular partner who is HIV-infected, utilizing nPEP more than 3 times in a calendar year, or engaging in routine unsafe sexual behavior (e.g., as a commercial sex worker).
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