Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

We all plan to protect ourselves from whatever life may throw at us – that includes HIV. HIV, one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), is a virus that attacks cells that are vital to helping the body fight infections. While HIV may be scary, prevention of HIV doesn’t have to be.

What is Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)?

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, more commonly called PrEP, is an oral or injectable medication used to prevent the chances of getting HIV from sexual intercourse or sharing injectable drugs. When taken correctly, PrEP can be up to 99% effective against the development of HIV in patients who have already tested negative.

PrEP is a great way for patients to protect themselves from getting HIV in the event their partner has HIV or they are having unprotected sex with an individual who may have also been exposed to HIV. PrEP does not affect birth control or hormone therapies, making it the perfect medication for patients who wish to protect themselves further than just through condom use alone.

What are Side Effects of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)?

Because PrEP is foreign to the body, there are many side effects patients may experience when first beginning their treatment plan. Side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain

Side effects typically resolve on their own within a few days of treatment. If your side effects persist or become more severe after your first week of treatment, we encourage you to contact Dr. Dugan at (407) 784-3290*.

What Can I Expect During my Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Treatment?

PrEP is a medication that is used when patients have tested negative for HIV. If you have tested negative but find you need protection, Dr. Dugan may suggest starting PrEP pills or injections depending on your preference and lifestyle.

Your maximum level of protection on PrEP will vary depending on the type of protection you are seeking. Generally, we find that PrEP is up to 99% effective for patients who take their medication every day and have reached maximum protection:

  • After 7 days for receptive anal sex
  • After 21 days for receptive vaginal sex
  • No data available for patients who are participating in insertive anal or insertive vaginal sex

Is Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Right for Me?

If you are seeking protection against HIV, PrEP may be right for you. The best way to find out if PrEP is right for you is to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Dugan at Dugan Family Medicine. He’ll be happy to speak with you, listen to your concerns, evaluate your situation, and develop a tailored treatment plan to help you live your life with peace of mind.

In the event PrEP is not right for you, Dr. Dugan will work with you to find alternative treatment plans that may better suit your individual needs.

Telehealth Services in Florida!

Live your life worry-free. Dr. Dugan is proud to offer pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in addition to primary care services to men and women in Florida. If you'd like to make an appointment, use our convenient online patient portal or call Dugan Family Medicine at (407) 784-3290* today. To request your free 15-minute meet and greet with Dr. Dugan, use our convenient online meet and greet request form.