The HIV-prevention medication Truvada (PrEP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) can be prescribed by some of the doctors at Diamond Valley Clinic.

To discuss your suitability to take PrEP, please book an appointment with one of our doctors. We can assess your suitability for the medication and if eligible, arrange the appropriate testing before providing a prescription for PrEP.

What is Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)?

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an HIV prevention strategy where HIV-negative individuals take anti-HIV medications to reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV. The medications works by preventing HIV from establishing infection inside the body.

It does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections (STI) or pregnancy. It is not a cure for HIV.

Who does PrEP work for?

Multiple studies have shown PrEP to reduce the risk of HIV infection through sex for gay and bisexual men, transgender women, and heterosexual men and women, as well as among people who inject drugs.

The iPrEx Study in 2010 showed that PrEP reduced HIV transmission among gay men and transgender women who have sex with men. The Partners PrEP Study in 2012 showed it was effective in preventing HIV infection in heterosexual men and women.

How effective is PrEP?

PrEP reduces the risk of HIV infection by 99% in individuals who take the pills every day as directed. If a daily dose is missed, the level of HIV protection decreases. It only works if you take it regularly.

A few important things to note:

  • When starting PrEP, it takes at least seven days to reach high levels of protection against HIV.

  • If you are planning on stopping PrEP, you should continue using the medication for four weeks after the last significant exposure before stopping.

  • PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections (STI) or pregnancy. It is not a cure for HIV.

Does it have any side effects?

PrEP is generally safe and well-tolerated. Most people on PrEP experience minimal side effects, but the most common reported side effects include:

  • Nausea (9%)

  • Headaches (5%)

  • Weight loss (2%)

  • Kidney impairment (<1%)