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What’s involved with getting on PrEP?

So I’ll tell you what happens if you come to me. At that first visit we’ll do an HIV test, we’ll screen for other sexually transmitted infections, and we’ll check your kidney function. And then you’ll get your prescription. I see patients about a month after they start the medication to make sure everything’s going well, to make sure you’re tolerating it, that you don’t have any additional questions, just a quick check-in visit, but then I see patients every three months. I make sure that we get HIV testing at that time. Those are quick visits, at each visit you have the opportunity to talk with someone in the clinic about any challenges you’re having with adherence, any questions you have, that’s it, simple, easy.

Dr. Flash reviews the process of getting and staying on PrEP.

To get  on PrEP, you will need a prescription from a healthcare provider, such as a medical doctor or nurse practitioner.

Once you find a PrEP provider, you will likely be asked some questions to help you determine if it is a good for you, which may include questions about your sexual history and condom use.

You will also need to take an HIV test to make sure you do not already have the virus, as well as have your kidney function checked. You will also be tested for hepatitis B and C viruses.

Once the test confirms you don’t have HIV, you can get a prescription for PrEP. Sometimes the first supply will be for one month, so you may be asked to come back so your provider can see how you are responding to PrEP. If all is going well, you should then receive three-month prescriptions and will need to have check-ups four times a year, at each of which you’ll be re-tested for HIV. You will also get kidney function and STD tests at least every six months.

Click here for more information on PrEP.


#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than HIV featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decision.

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