About 1.1 million people in the United States are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and about 15% of those people aren’t aware that they’re infected. Rakiyah Jones, DNP, FNP-BC, referred to as Dr. Kai, at Kinfolk Family Health in Montclair, New Jersey, offers a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) program to protect you from infection if you engage in sexual activity with partners of unknown HIV status. To learn more about PrEP or to take part in the program, call the office today or book online.
PrEP is a treatment that protects you from contracting HIV if you’re at risk of the infection. Treatment consists of a specific pill containing antiviral medications tenofovir and emtricitabine that you take once a day, along with other HIV medications. These medications work together to prevent the virus from establishing an infection in your body when you’re exposed to it through sexual contact or intravenous drug use.
Daily PrEP reduces your risk of HIV infection through sexual contact by 92%. The more compliant you are with the program and use of your medication, the greater protection you have against an HIV infection. You can further protect yourself from contracting HIV if you combine your daily PrEP with condoms. PrEP doesn’t protect you from other STDs or pregnancy, and it isn’t a cure for HIV.
PrEP isn’t the same as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is a preventive treatment for HIV-negative people who were exposed to HIV. With PEP, you start HIV medication within 72 hours of exposure and continue for a month to reduce your risk of becoming infected.
Dr. Kai determines if you’re a good candidate for his PrEP program when you come in for a consultation. The program itself is for people of any sexual orientation, gender identity, or race with sexual partners of an unknown HIV status or whose partner has HIV.
The PrEP program at Kinfolk Family Health is a one-year package that costs $399.00. The fee includes:
Side effects from the medication are minimal, but some patients report headaches, nausea, and weight loss. If you do experience side effects, they usually resolve within a few weeks of starting the medication.
PrEP is a powerful HIV-prevention tool, but you must be committed to the program in order for it to be effective for you.
To learn more about PrEP and how it can protect you, call Kinfolk Family Health today or request an appointment online.