Sofie Wise

Sofie Wise

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About Author — Sofie hopes to create a more sustainable healthcare system by empowering people to make conscious health decisions. Her interests include cooking, reading, being outdoors and painting.

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog.

Top 3 Reasons to Get on PrEP

HIV became an epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s and continues to be a global crisis. In the United States alone, an estimated 1.2 million people have HIV, many of whom are unaware that they are infected.

PrEP is a pill that, when taken daily, prevents the spread of HIV in your body.

The preventive medication is allowing people all over the world to sleep soundly knowing that they are safe from contracting HIV.

Here are the top 3 reasons to get on PrEP:

1. You are a gay or bisexual male


Men who have sex with men are the absolute highest risk group for acquiring HIV, accounting for 70 percent of new HIV infections in the US.


Taking PrEP can help drastically reduce this risk, decreasing your chances of contracting HIV by up to 99% when taken properly.


Read: How to Get PrEP Online


What if I am gay or bisexual but I already practice safe sex?

If you’re already in the habit of maintaining safe sex practices, you can still benefit from PrEP.

Condoms reduce your risk of HIV transmission by 87 percent. Good, yes. But it’s important to cover all your bases when engaging in sexual activity.


PrEP will make sure that you are covered, preventing your risk of acquiring HIV infection by up to 99 percent if taken properly.


2. You’re one of the 70% of people that did not use a condom the last time you had sex

Here at PlushCare we are all about practicing safe-sex. And with safe-sex, condoms come first and foremost.

Unfortunately, however, condom usage is not always a priority for the sexually active population.

The CDC reports that among those ages 15-44 years old, roughly 67-77 percent did not use a condom during their last sexual encounter.

When engaging in sexual activity, condom usage is key to protect against STDs, including HIV.

Nevertheless, PrEP has not proven to influence condom usage one way or another, meaning that those who weren’t using condoms still aren’t, and those who were still are.


Taking PrEP can ensure that whether you’re using condoms or not, you’re protected against HIV.


3. Your partner is HIV positive

If your partner is HIV positive you will want to get on PrEP.


Even if they are on HIV antiretroviral treatments it’s worth taking every possible precaution to prevent the spread of HIV.


Taking PrEP will allow you and your partner to sleep soundly at night and engage in sexual activity without worry.

Who’s at Risk of HIV?

Still unsure if PrEP is right for you? Here’s a comprehensive list of people who may be at a high risk of HIV and should talk to a doctor about starting PrEP.

  • Anyone in a sexual relationship with someone who has tested HIV-positive
  • Gay or bisexual men who engage in anal sex without the use of a condom
  • Gay or bisexual men who have been diagnosed with an STD in the past 6 months
  • Straight men and women who do not use condoms when engaging in sex with partners who are at a high risk of HIV infection
  • Straight men and women who do not regularly use condoms while having sex with partners of unknown HIV status
  • People who have used injected drugs in the last 6 months and shared needles
  • Anyone who has been in a drug treatment program in the past 6 months

Think PrEP might be right for you? Book an appointment with a PlushCare physician to learn more about the medication and see whether it might be a good choice for you.


Read More About PrEP


Sources

cdc.gov. HIV and Gay and Bisexual Men. Accessed October 11, 2019, at https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/msm/index.html

Scielosp.org. Effectiveness of condoms in preventing sexually transmitted infections. Accessed October 11, 2019, at https://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?pid=S0042-96862004000600012&script=sci_arttext&tlng=e

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