Clinic to Prevent HIV Launches in El Paso
The clinic’s purpose is to distribute a pill called Truvada, also referred to as PrEP. It is required that the pill is taken daily and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that users of the pill have up to 92% lower risk of contracting HIV. In my personal experience, I made an appointment over the phone and was physically seen at the clinic the following day. The entire process took about less than an hour.
The staff was friendly and informative. Blood was drawn as well as a urine sample and I began taking PrEP about a week and a half after my visit to the clinic. I spoke with Rudy Castañeda, a Linkage to Care Specialist from the Be PrEPared clinic and you can see the chat below:
What is PrEP?
PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis; a once- a- day pill that can help prevent HIV.
Background: Pre-exposure prophylaxis, (PrEP), is a prevention option, like condom use and abstinence, for people who do not have HIV but are at a substantial risk of contracting the virus. The pill (brand name Truvada) contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) that are used in combination with other medications to treat HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection.
Can you elaborate on side effects?
The side effects are nausea, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and stomach cramps. However, these side effects are mild, and rare. Plus, they go away over time.
How effective is PrEP?
92% -99% effective in reducing HIV risk for HIV negative individuals who take the pill each day as directed.
What does PrEP cost?
Without insurance, PrEP costs about $1900 per month, plus the added expenses of office visits and lab work. However, at the Be PrEPared! At the clinic we are making this service affordable and accessible for everyone. We have access to special programs to make this affordable for everyone. The inability to pay for care should not prevent anyone from getting on PrEP. We are here to help cover the costs. For more information on fees or programs call the clinic directly at 773-0601.
Who is the proper candidate for PrEP?
PrEP is for people without HIV who are at very high risk for getting it from sex or injection drug use. The federal guidelines recommend that PrEP is considered for the following:
1. People who are HIV-negative and in an ongoing sexual relationship with an HIV-positive partner.
2. Isn’t in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-negative.
3. Is a gay or bisexual man who has had anal sex without using a condom or been diagnosed with an STD in the past six months.
4. Is a heterosexual man or woman who does not regularly use condoms during sex with partners of unknown HIV status who are at substantial risk of HIV infection (like people who inject drugs or women who have bisexual male partners).
5. PrEP is also recommended for people who have injected drugs in the past six months and have shared needles or works or been in drug treatment in the past six months.
6. If you have a partner who is HIV-positive and are considering getting pregnant, talk to your doctor about PrEP if you’re not already taking it. PrEP may be an option to help protect you and your baby from getting HIV infection while you try to get pregnant, during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.
For more information about the Be PrEPared clinic in El Paso call 915 773-0601, visit https://borderaidsep.org/prepclinic/ or walk in for consultations on Wednesdays at 10780 Pebble Hills, Suite G 1 next to Planet Fitness. The clinic is open from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. You can also access information by scanning the QR code below.