“PrEP” stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. The word “prophylaxis” means “to prevent or control the spread of an infection or disease.” PrEP is a way for people who don’t have HIV to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill contains two medicines that are also used to treat HIV. If you take PrEP and are exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from taking hold in your body.

 

In several studies of PrEP, the risk of getting HIV infection was much lower—up to 92% lower—for those who took the medicines consistently than for those who didn't take the medicines. Along with other prevention methods like condoms, PrEP can offer great protection against HIV if taken every day.

 

Our PrEP Support Services are offered at no cost to you and our team can help you decided if PrEP is right for you and assist with finding doctors and financial assistance for the medication.

Call 719-578-9092 to schedule your PrEP consultation appointment. 

 

Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) 

What’s Your Risk?

The risk of getting HIV varies widely depending on the type of exposure or behavior. Some exposures to HIV carry a much higher risk of transmission than other exposures.

Learn the HIV risk of different sexual activities when one partner is HIV positive and one partner is HIV negative by using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HIV Risk Reduction Tool or check out the chart below to learn the probability of acquiring HIV.

Chart 1: Estimated Per-Act Probability of Acquiring HIV from an Infected Source, by Exposure Act

Factors that may increase the risk of HIV transmission include sexually transmitted diseases, acute and late-stage HIV infection, and high viral load. Factors that may decrease the risk include condom use, male circumcision, antiretroviral treatment, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). None of these factors are accounted for in the estimates presented in the chart.

 

Exposure type Risk per 10,000 Exposures
Parenteral
Blood transfusion 9,250
Needle sharing during injection drug use 63
Percutaneous (needlestick) 23
Sexual
Receptive anal intercourse 138
Receptive penile-vaginal intercourse 8
Insertive anal intercourse 11
Insertive penile-vaginal intercourse 4
Receptive oral intercourse Low
Insertive oral intercourse Low
Other (HIV transmission through these exposure routes is technically possible but unlikely and not well documented) 
Biting Negligible
Spitting Negligible
Throwing body fluids (including semen or saliva) Negligible
Sharing sex toys Negligible
Source: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/policies/law/risk.html

Finding a Medical Provider

If you have recently been exposed to HIV you should consider taking PEP to prevent infection. PEP is a month-long course of emergency medication taken to try to keep HIV from making copies of itself and spreading through your body. PEP must be started within 72 hours of exposure. PEP may be obtained from the locations in the table below or you may be able to obtain PEP from other locations including your primary care physician (PCP), urgent care clinics, and other emergency departments not listed.

Providers in Colorado Springs Providers in Pueblo
Peak Vista Community Health Center Academy Location
719-344-6790
3207 N Academy Blvd, Suite 3100
Pueblo Community Health Center Park Hill Location
719-543-8711
1302 East 5th Street
Memorial Hospital Central Emergency Department
719-365-5221
1400 E. Boulder Street
Jamie Pollock, MD 719-696-9828 509 Colorado Avenue, Suite C
Memorial Hospital North Emergency Department
719-364-5000
4050 Briargate Parkway
St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center Emergency Department800-228-4039
1008 Minnequa Avenue
If you find a medical provider that is willing to prescribe PEP but needs additional information provide them with an electronic copy of CDC’s Updated Guidelines for Antiretroviral Postexposure Prophylaxis After Sexual, Injection Drug Use, or Other Non-occupational Exposure to HIV .

 

If you were exposed to HIV on the job, you may be required to obtain medical care from a specific provider. Follow your company’s workman’s compensation procedures.

Paying for PEP

The cost you pay for PEP can vary depending on the situation and your health insurance coverage. For example if your health insurance plan has co-pays, you will likely pay more for seeking care at an emergency department compared to visiting an urgent care or primary care provider. The cost of the medications can vary too depending on your insurance coverage but financial assistance is available to many individuals.

 

If you’re prescribed PEP after a sexual assault, you may qualify for partial or total reimbursement for medicines and clinical care costs through the Colorado Office for Victims of Crime, funded by the US Department of Justice.

If you were exposed to HIV on the job, your workplace health insurance or workers’ compensation will usually pay for PEP.

If you’re prescribed PEP for another reason, you may be able to utilize a medication or patient assistance program run by a drug manufacturer in addition to your health insurance and some manufactures may have programs for the uninsured too. Some individuals may obtain their PEP medications at no cost. Online applications usually take a few minutes to complete if you have employer sponsored or private insurance – look for information on patient savings cards, co-pay support, co-pay cards, or co-pay coupons. You will be provided with a digital or printable coupon or co-pay card to present at the pharmacy. If you are uninsured or have government healthcare such as Medicaid, assistance may not be available or the application process may be lengthy.

You won’t know what applications you need to complete until you have visited a medical provider and have received a prescription but here are the links to some commonly prescribed PEP medication financial assistance programs.

Drug Prescribed Drug Manufacturer
TRUVADA (Emtricitabine and Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate) Gilead Sciences
ISENTRESS (Raltegravir) Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp
TIVICAY (Dolutegravir) ViiV Healthcare
PREZISTA (Darunavir) Janssen Therapeutics
NORVIR (Ritonavir) AbbVie Inc
COMBIVIR (Lamivudine and Zidovudine) ViiV Healthcare