Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I just use condoms?
A: Condoms have been and continue to be an effective tool in reducing HIV risk, but we know that many people are already not using condoms each and every time they have sex. PrEP is an additional tool to consider for HIV prevention.
Q: If I use PrEP, can I stop using condoms?
A: When taken as prescribed, PrEP reduces the risk of acquiring HIV but it does not protect against other STIs. Condoms are still the best way to reduce the risk of acquiring other STIs.
Q: My partner has an undetectable viral load,
do I still need PrEP?
A: Undetectable = Untransmittable is a game changer for HIV prevention. Individuals who are HIV positive and are on treatment with an undetectable viral load can not pass on the virus to their sexual partners.
Just like PrEP, and using condoms, having an undetectable viral load is a strategy in preventing HIV transmission. When used together these strategies can really lower the risk of HIV transmission.
Some individuals who have a HIV positive partner with an
undetectable viral load, may still elect to take PrEP as a form of added protection. Regardless of your decision, it is still best to regularly test for HIV to check that your status remains negative.
Q: Do you provide any financial assistance?
A: PrEP Rx provides financial assistance of up to $100/
month to eligible patients.
Q: I think I was recently exposed to HIV, can I take PrEP?
A: If you think you may have been recently exposed to HIV, then PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) may be the best option for you rather than PrEP.
Find out more information about PEP here.
Q: Can I take PrEP before meeting a date?
A: That depends! PrEP is most effective when taken daily. Typically, PrEP acts like a protective shield around your immune cells and ensures that if HIV is introduced to your body it can’t get into the cells. It takes about seven days to achieve this protection around the cells in the rectum, and about 20 days around the cells in the vagina and in the bloodstream. However, there is a non-daily regime called ‘on-demand’. This 2-1-1 strategy involves taking two pills 2-24 hours before sex, 1 pill 24- hours later, and 1 pill 24-hours after that. Taking PrEP 2-hours before a date can be highly effective.
Find out more information about On Demand PrEP here.
Q: I don’t have any insurance coverage, do I still qualify for PrEP?
A: If you are currently not enrolled in any public or private insurance plan, our team can assist with applying to the Trillium Drug Program. Please contact us for more details.