Federal guidelines recommend PrEP be considered for anyone who is HIV-negative and in an ongoing sexual relationship with an HIV-positive partner. Additionally, PrEP should be considered for anyone who isn’t in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-negative, and
- is a gay or bisexual man who has had anal sex without a condom or have been diagnosed with an STI in the past 6 months.
- is a heterosexual man or woman who does not regularly use condoms with partners with an unknown HIV status who are at substantial risk for HIV infections (e.g. people who inject drugs).
PrEP is also recommended for people who have injected drugs in the past 6 months and have shared injection equipment or have been in treatment for injection drug use in the past 6 months.
Making the Choice
While PrEP is an excellent prevention tool, it may not be right for everyone. If you are prescribed PrEP, you must take a pill every day and return to the healthcare provider every three months for a repeat HIV test, prescription refills, and follow-up. If taking a daily pill is difficult, there is a long-acting injection (every two months following two starter doses a month apart) that may be a better choice.
There are resources available that can help you think through the choice to start PrEP:
- The Advocate feature In Their Own Words: Men on PrEP Explain Why They Take It, gay and bi men discuss why they have decided to go on PrEP.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains who might choose PrEP and why.
- PleasePrEPMe.org offers specific information for cis-gender women and trans women considering PrEP.
- Planned Parenthood of DC offers an assessment quiz to help you see if PrEP may be a good choice.