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PrEP and PEP

Testing, PrEP and PEP are keys to preventing HIV infection. WellFlorida’s High Impact Prevention (HIP) projects provides free HIV testing, and education on and referrals to PrEP and PEP. We counsel individuals on risk factors for HIV and assess eligibility for these prevention medications. Read on to learn more about PrEP and PEP. If you think either is right for you, or if you have any questions about HIV prevention and care, call us at 352-415-0464.

What is PrEP?

PrEP is an HIV preventive medication that when taken once daily can significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection. It is only used for people who are HIV-negative. Brand names of PrEP are Truvada and Descovy. PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken daily. Among people who inject drugs, PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV by at least 74% when taken daily.

Should I Consider PrEP?

PrEP is for people without HIV who are at risk for getting the virus from sex or injection drug use. The federal guidelines recommend that PrEP be considered for people who are HIV-negative who:

Have had anal or vaginal sex in the past 6 months and:

  • Have a sexual partner with HIV (especially if the partner has an unknown or detectable viral load)
    or
  • Have not consistently used a condom
    or
  • Have been diagnosed with an STD in the past 6 months

PrEP is also recommended for people who inject drugs and

  • have an injection partner with HIV
    or
  • share needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs (for example, cookers).

PrEP should also be considered for people who have been prescribed non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and report continued risk behavior, or have used multiple courses of PEP.

If you have a partner with HIV and are considering getting pregnant, talk to your doctor about PrEP if you’re not already taking it. PrEP may be an option to help protect you and your baby from getting HIV while you try to get pregnant, during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.

Because PrEP involves daily medication and regular visits to a health care provider, it may not be right for everyone. And PrEP may cause side effects like nausea in some people, but these generally subside over time. These side effects aren’t life threatening.

What about the Cost of PrEP?

Most insurance plans and state Medicaid programs cover PrEP. Prior authorization may be required.

Free medication program: There are medication assistance programs that provide free PrEP medications to people with no insurance to cover PrEP care. To learn more, call 855-447-8410 or visit www.getyourprep.com.

Co-pay assistance program: Income is not a factor in eligibility. More information is available at: https://www.gileadadvancingaccess.com.

Some states have their own PrEP assistance programs.  Some cover medication, some cover clinical visit and lab costs, some cover both.  To learn more visit: https://www.nastad.org/prepcost-resources/prep-assistance-programs.

What is PEP?

PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. It means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected.

PEP must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV, but the sooner you start PEP, the better. Every hour counts. If you’re prescribed PEP, you’ll need to take it once or twice daily for 28 days. PEP is effective in preventing HIV when administered correctly, but not 100%.

When to Consider PEP

If you’re HIV-negative or don’t know your HIV status, and in the last 72 hours you:

  • think you may have been exposed to HIV during sex (for example, if the condom broke),
  • shared needles and works to prepare drugs (for example, cotton, cookers, water), or
  • were sexually assaulted

PEP should be used only in emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV. It is not a substitute for regular use of other proven HIV prevention methods, such as daily use of PrEP, correct condom usage, and using new, sterile needles if you inject drugs.

You should continue to use condoms with sex partners and safe injection practices while taking PEP. These strategies can protect you from being exposed to HIV again and reduce the chances of transmitting HIV to others if you do become infected while you’re on PEP.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep.html

Where Can I Get PrEP or PEP?

Call WellFlorida’s High Impact Prevention (HIP) project to find out if you are eligible for PrEP and PEP at 352-415-0464. We will point you in the right direction and answer any questions.

To find a PrEP provider near you, you may follow the PrEP locator link or find local information below.

Area 3/13 PrEP locations:

SiteAddressContact
Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Alachua County224 S.E. 24th St., Gainesville, FL 32641352-334-7969
Florida DOH in Bradford County1801 N. Temple Ave., Starke, FL 32091904-964-7732
Florida DOH in Citrus County3700 W. Sovereign Path, Lecanto, FL 34461352-527-0068
Florida DOH in Columbia County217 N.E. Franklin St., Lake City, FL 32055386-758-1068
Florida DOH in Dixie County149 N.E. 241st St., Cross City, FL 32628352-498-1360
Florida DOH in Gilchrist County119 N.E. First St. Trenton, FL 32693352-463-3120
Florida DOH in Hamilton County209 S.E. Central Av., Jasper, FL 32052386-792-1414
Florida DOH in Lafayette County140 S.W. Virginia Circle, Mayo, FL 32066386-294-1321
Florida DOH in Lake County (Umatilla)249 E. Collins St., Umatilla, FL 32784352-771-5500 ext. 2
* Florida DOH in Lake County (Clermont)875 Oakley Seaver Drive, Clermont, FL 34711352-771-5500 ext. 2
* Florida DOH in Lake County (Leesburg)2113 W. Griffin Road, Leesburg, FL 34748352-771-5500 ext. 2
Florida DOH in Levy County66 W. Main St., Bronson, FL 32621352-486-5300
Florida DOH in Marion County1801 S.E. 32nd Ave., Ocala, FL 34471352)-629-0137
Florida DOH in Putnam County2801 Kennedy St., Palatka, FL 32177386-326-3200
Florida DOH in Sumter County415 E. Noble Ave,. Bushnell, FL 33513352-569-3102
Florida DOH in Suwannee County915 Nobles Ferry Road, Live Oak, FL 32064386-362-2708
Florida DOH in Union County495 E. Main St., Lake Butler, FL 32054386-496-3211
UF HealthMultiple Locations352-294-5480

*This location is temporarily closed due to COVID-19

Area 3/13 PEP locations:

All county health departments can prescribe PEP, however, only certain locations have the medication onsite.

SiteAddressContact
Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Alachua County224 S.E. 24th St., Gainesville, FL 32641352-334-7969
Florida DOH in Columbia County217 N.E. Franklin St., Lake City, FL 32055386-758-1068
Florida DOH in Hamilton County209 S.E. Central Ave., Jasper, FL 32052386-792-1414
Florida DOH in Marion County1801 S.E. 32nd Ave., Ocala, FL 34471352-629-0137
UF Health Shands Emergency Room1515 S.W. Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32608352-733-0111
UF Health Shands Emergency Center Springhill8475 N.W. 39th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32606352-627-0400