As a continuation of our partnership with our parent organization AIDS Care and its pharmacy Pleasant St. Apothecary Ashley Zuppeli, PharmD and her student Alicia Habershaw (PharmD candidate c/o 2012) created the following blog about PrEP.
What is PrEP?
PrEP is pre-exposure prophylaxis which means medication is taken in HIV-negative individuals who are at high risk at being exposed to the virus. It is used to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV however it DOES NOT eliminate the risk and safe sex practices should still be used!
Is PrEP for everyone?
Not all high risk individuals have been studied to see if PrEP was useful in their populations as of yet. So far, PrEP has been shown to be effective in men who have sex with men (MSM), heterosexual men and women. Studies are ongoing in intravenous (IV) drug users but results are unavailable at this time.
What medication is used for PrEP?
Most studies include a drug called tenofovir (Viread™) alone or in combination with emtricitabine (Emtriva™), most commonly known as Truvada™ which is already used to treat HIV. However, the exact dose, frequency and formulation is yet to be determined. Other drugs are being considered for PrEP.
Is it important to take PrEP as prescribed since it is just preventative therapy?
YES!!! Studies have shown that individuals who were adherent got the greatest benefit from taking PrEP! Those that did not take the medication daily did not have a reduced risk of acquiring HIV.
Are there guidelines for PrEP?
Unfortunately, no. BUT the CDC has provided guidance in the meantime to help doctors who would like to provide PrEP to their MSM patients since the data from the studies was the most promising in these patients.
Disclaimer: If you have an urgent matter to discuss, this is not the forum to express it. Your provider or the pharmacy that dispenses these medications should handle urgent medical questions.
About Pleasant Street Apothecary:
A C Center, Inc. dba Pleasant Street Apothecary is conveniently located in downtown Rochester and features an open and welcoming environment with a cozy waiting area. Experienced pharmacists and technicians can assist with the management of complex medication regimens and third-party prescription plans including: Medicare, Medicaid with spend-downs and ADAP. The organization strives to employ both LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) and LGBT-friendly staff; and all employees participate in LGBT Core Competence training. Additionally, Pleasant Street Apothecary offers a wide range of HIV pharmaceuticals, a complete selection of non-HIV medications, high tech services, online ordering, and reliable, free delivery. This friendly, neighborhood pharmacy is also open six days a week.
For more information, please visit: www.PleasantStreetRX.com.