All of our clinicians are Queer and Trans competent who offer compassionate care with a specific understanding in HIV, PrEP, STI, and LGBTQ+ services.
PrEP is a once-daily pill that greatly reduces your risk of HIV infection. Daily PrEP use can reduce the risk of acquiring HIV from sex by more than 99%. Among people who inject drugs, PrEP reduces the risk of acquiring HIV by more than 74%.
PrEP can prevent HIV by stopping the virus if you are exposed. There are different drug combinations for PrEP.
Who should consider taking PrEP?
PrEP is for anyone who is HIV negative and wants to stay that way. You may particularly benefit from PrEP for:
Individuals with a partner(s) who are living HIV
Individuals who have a history of inconsistent or no condom use during sex
Individuals who have multiple sexual partners
Individuals who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past 6 months
Individuals who engage in sex work and/or transactional sex
Individuals who engage in injection drug use
Individuals who have been prescribed post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
What can I expect during my first visit?
Expect your first appointment to last 1 – 1.5 hours.
Do not urinate one hour prior to the appointment. (a urine sample will be needed for STI screening)
Have a list of your current medications or bring them with you.
During your visit, your provider will talk to you about your medical and sexual health history. You will be asked about medications you take and any possible symptoms of STI and HIV infection.
You will receive information at your appointment about PrEP and other safer sex options. If you and our medical staff determine PrEP is right for you, you’ll leave your first appointment with a prescription for PrEP in hand.
Our team will follow-up with you and we’ll ask you to return a month later for a follow-up visit. Then, you’ll be scheduled for PrEP follow-up appointments every three months.
If you are uninsured or cannot afford PrEP, you will meet with a navigator who will explain financial assistance that is available to you.
Are there side effects to taking PrEP?
Most people who take PrEP do not report any side effects. For those who do, the most common side effects are nausea, upset stomach, headaches and fatigue. These symptoms often go away after a couple weeks of taking PrEP.
Tell your provider right away if you experience side effects that make it difficult to take the medication. Do not stop taking PrEP before talking to your provider; there may be ways to make you feel better, or alleviate side effects.
Your provider will monitor your lab results for other PrEP-related side effects.
Can I take PrEP if I’m on hormones?
PrEP does not interfere with hormone therapy and is an effective prevention option for transgender and gender nonconforming people.
Can I take PrEP if I use hormonal birth control or if I am pregnant?
PrEP does not interfere with hormonal birth control, IUDs, emergency contraception (Plan B/"Morning-After Pill"), or other forms of birth control. PrEP may be an option if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant. Ask your provider for more information.
How can I pay for PrEP?
THRIVE is providing free and full access to PrEP services. The PrEP medications and the necessary follow-up appointments are covered by most insurances. If you do not have insurance or have trouble paying for PrEP, there are financial assistance options available to help pay for the medication and lab costs. THRIVE at the Aliveness Project covers lab tests, STI screening, and PrEP prescription.
Traditionally, PrEP medications can cost anywhere from $2,000-$4,000 per month out of pocket. However, our PrEP Specialist will work to have medication costs covered through a patient assistance program.
A monthly medication prescription is necessary for PrEP. If you are uninsured or cannot afford your medication costs, contact [email protected] or 612.822.9646 to discuss financial assistance options available to you.