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Can You Take PrEP If You Are HIV Positive?

No. PrEP is a once-daily pill that is designed to reduce the risk of HIV before you are exposed to it. It does not treat HIV and should not be used if you have already tested positive for HIV. However, if you have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, you may be able to take a similar type of medication, referred to as PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), for a month to reduce the likelihood of being infected.

PrEP stands for “pre-exposure prophylaxis.” It is designed for those who are not living with HIV and would like to reduce their risk of contracting the virus. There are two brand name medications for PrEP: Truvada, which received approval from the FDA in 2012 for HIV prevention, and Descovy, which was approved in 2019. There is also a generic PrEP medication, emtricitibane/tenofovir diproxil, that is now available. All of these medications contain emtricitabine and tenofovir, which can work together to dramatically reduce your chance of contracting HIV.

If you are HIV positive, it’s important to begin treatment with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Although PrEP isn’t the treatment for you, a number of options are available that can reduce your viral load (the amount of the virus found in your bodily fluids).

Get PrEP for HIV Prevention At Home

Nurx offers PrEP for HIV prevention for as little as $0 with insurance for medication.

If you would like to take PrEP to reduce your risk of contracting HIV, you can do so through Nurx™ in a discreet and convenient way. You will need to answer several questions about your sexual activity and health, as well as complete the required lab work. You can even do the lab work at home, as Nurx will send you a kit. After reviewing the results, your health provider can prescribe PrEP if it is a good fit for you and mail you your meds in discreet packaging to help you maintain your privacy.

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