There are about 1.2 million Americans living with HIV with about 15 percent (1 in 7) unaware they are infected. An estimated 38,700 became newly affected Americans in 2016 and there are an estimated 39,000 new cases of HIV transmission each year. Sadly, most of these cases are among gay and bisexual men of color. That’s why now, more than ever, we need to increase awareness and uptake for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a new, highly effective tool to prevent the transmission of HIV.
In October 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Asm. Todd Gloria’s (D-San Diego) Senate Bill 159 — co-sponsored by Equality California — expanding access to life-saving HIV prevention medication. When it goes into effect on January 1, 2020, California will become the first state in the nation to authorize pharmacists to furnish at least a 30-day supply — and up to a 60-day supply — of PrEP and a complete course of PEP without a physician’s prescription. The bill is a key step in California’s work to eliminate HIV and delivers on Newsom’s campaign pledge to take aggressive action to end the HIV epidemic.
PrEP involves an HIV-negative person taking the antiretroviral medication Truvada preventatively, once per day, to provide a high-level of protection against HIV. When used correctly, studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by up to 99%. The medication Truvada is currently the only medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for PrEP.
If you decide that PrEP is right for you, you can speak with your primary care physician or, starting January 1, 2020, Californians can receive PrEP and PEP directly from a pharmacist and without a physician’s prescription. PrEP is for HIV negative patients only, and routine HIV screening and blood work is required to remain on the medication. To determine if you can get PrEP for free or low cost, check out NASTAD’s PrEP cost calculator, here: PrEPcost.org.
Truvada works by preventing HIV from establishing in the body. If you are exposed to semen, vaginal fluids or blood from an HIV-positive person, then Truvada acts as a protective measure to halt transmission. For optimal protection, the pill should be taken daily.
All PrEP educational content and information on this website has been compiled from information consistent with current CDC guidelines for use of PrEP, Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) guidelines, and clinical trials of oral daily PrEP.
The information provided on this website is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health, including HIV prevention.
Supported by grant funding from Gilead Sciences, Inc. Gilead Sciences, Inc. has had no input into the development or content of these materials.