Are Men Living With Hiv At Higher Risk
Rates of sexually transmitted hepatitis C are certainly higher among HIV-positive men who have sex with men than HIV-negative men who have sex with men, although its difficult to prove exactly why.
Fierer reasoned that more men living with HIV end up getting HCV through sex because HIV is much more efficient at transmission through sexwhich means that people at risk for getting HCV through sex are more likely to be those who have already been exposed to HIV.
If an HIV-negative man is at risk for acquiring hepatitis C through sex, that means he also might be at risk for acquiring HIV through sex. Chances are, hes going to become infected with HIV first, which is why these cases of hepatitis C appear as though theyre largely affecting HIV-positive men, he said.
The question is, with PrEP breaking down barriers between HIV-negative and HIV-positive men, will the number of hepatitis C infections among HIV-negative men start to rise?
Thats what Ive been saying, said Fierer. We are going to see more cases of sexually transmitted hepatitis C with increased use of PrEP. I dont have a prospective cohort to prove it, but its biological. The sun rises, the sun sets, and infectious diseases are transmitted.
Hiv Treatment As Prevention
People with HIV can take ART to lower their chance of transmitting HIV to others.
ART reduces the quantity of HIV in the body, or viral load, and keeps it at a low level.
The term viral load refers to the number of HIV copies per milliliter of blood.
Healthcare professionals define successful viral suppression as having a viral load of fewer than of HIV per milliliter of blood. Achieving and maintaining viral suppression significantly reduces the risk of HIV transmission.
Other ways to prevent HIV transmission include:
- using a condom or other barrier method during sex
- reducing the number of sexual partners
- getting vaccinated against other STIs, such as HPV and hepatitis B
- avoiding using injectable drugs, if possible
- if using injectable drugs, avoiding sharing needles and syringes
- following all workplace safety protocols
People can speak with a doctor to learn more about their individual risk of contracting HIV.
Anyone concerned about HIV exposure should contact a healthcare professional or a local emergency room to get testedand receive PEP.
Does Menstruation Raise The Risk Of Hiv Transmission To Sexual Partners In Other Ways
If a person living with HIV is not taking antiretroviral treatment, levels of HIV in their vaginal fluid are likely to be higher during menstruation. Several studies have shown that viral load in the female genital tract can vary during the menstrual cycle, including a 2004 study which found that viral load levels in cervico-vaginal fluid tended to peak at the time of menstruation and fall to the lowest level just prior to ovulation, usually midway through the cycle. This would raise the risk of HIV transmission if preventative methods werent being used.
However, due to the effectiveness of HIV treatment, the bodily fluids of someone living with HIV are likely to have no detectable virus . Levels of HIV in blood and cervico-vaginal fluid are usually correlated, although viral load in vaginal secretions may fall more slowly than in blood so may not be undetectable for a few months after viral load has become undetectable in blood.
Measurement of the amount of virus in a blood sample, reported as number of HIV RNA copies per milliliter of blood plasma. Viral load is an important indicator of HIV progression and of how well treatment is working.
If unsure, condoms, dental dams and PrEP are all options that reduce the risk of HIV infection during sex with a person living with HIV who is menstruating.
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If My Viral Load Is Undetectable Can I Transmit Hiv To Other People
Im very happy to say that we know the answer to this. If you are undetectable, and have been on HIV medications for at least six months, and you continue that treatment, the risk of transmitting HIV is effectively zero.
This finding has been well-established over the last six to seven years . After studying thousands of couples, over many years, research has shown that if an HIV-positive person is on effective HIV medications for at least six months, is undetectable, and stays on their HIV medications, they will not transmit HIV to other people.
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Taking Prep And How Effective Is It
It involves a HIV negative person taking tablets containing the drugs Tenofovir and Emtricitabine. The tablets need to be taken before sex for it to work. Taking PrEP before any HIV exposure means theres enough drug inside you to block HIV if it gets into your body. PrEP can be taken regularly or when needed. It is important to take it correctly for it to work effectively
Studies show that if PrEP is taken correctly, the chances of getting HIV while youre on it are almost zero. Its a really powerful tool for helping prevent new HIV infections.
PrEP only protects against HIV not other STIs
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Is It True That There Is A Medication That Can Actually Prevent Someone From Getting Hiv
Yes. PrEP involves working with a healthcare provider to make an individualized plan to take medication to prevent HIV. Clinical trials have shown that PrEP is 99% effective at reducing sexual transmission of HIV. As of January 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved three medications as PrEP for HIV:
Key Points About PrEP
What Is Prep And How Does It Prevent Hiv
PrEP is a medication that prevents HIV transmission. When taken as prescribed – usually a pill taken daily – its almost 100% effective. It works by helping the body to produce antibodies which prevent HIV from replicating inside the body. Essentially, the drug stops the virus from crossing into the healthy cells and reproducing.
While it’s possible to take so-called ‘events-based PrEP’ – when you take it as and when needed – daily dosing is generally considered more reliable.
Different PrEP delivery methods such as injectables and implants are also being researched. In 2021, the World Health Organisation recommended a new option called the vaginal ring for women at substantial risk of HIV acquisition1.
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What We Know About Oral Sex
The chance an HIV-negative person will get HIV from oral sex with an HIV-positive partner is extremely low. However, its hard to know the exact risk because a lot of people who have oral sex also have or vaginal sex. The risk is even lower if the HIV-negative partner is taking medicine to prevent HIV . If the partner with HIV is taking HIV medicine as prescribed and keeps an undetectable viral load , they have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV through sex, including oral sex.
But you can get other sexually transmitted diseases from oral sex. And, if you get feces in your mouth during anilingus, you can get hepatitis A and B, parasites like Giardia, and other bacteria like Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli.
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Can You Get Hiv From Someone Who Is Undetectable
According to the CDC, if you take your HIV medication regularly and reach the point where your viral load is undetectable, you have effectively no risk of transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
Having an undetectable viral load also helps prevent transmission to others through sharing needles, syringes, or other injection equipment though it doesnt eliminate it entirely.
If youre dating someone who has an undetectable viral load, youre not going to test positive for HIV just by having sex. That said, regular testing for HIV, especially if you have multiple sexual partners, is important.
Both the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and the CDC promote HIV treatment as prevention. Undetectable = Untransmittable or U=U is the guiding principle.
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Is Hiv Prep For Me
A serodiscordant partnership is where one partner is HIV negative and the other is living with HIV.
If you’re HIV negative and your sexual partner is living with HIV, you might want to consider PrEP in certain circumstances.
If your partner has been diagnosed with HIV, has been taking HIV medication for at least 6 months, and their viral load is undetectable, there is no risk of HIV transmission through sex. An undetectable viral load means that the level of HIV in their body is too low to be measured by a blood test and will not be transmitted through sex. In this case, you do not need PrEP.
If your partner is newly diagnosed with HIV and has only just started treatment, you may want to consider PrEP until their viral load becomes undetectable.
If you have sex without a condom with more than one sexual partner and dont know their status, HIV PrEP can reduce your chance of becoming infected with HIV.
- what will happen at your first appointment
- who should not take PrEP
- how dosing works
Are There Side Effects Of Prep
Side effects are rare, but some people may develop nausea, diarrhoea or a headache. These side effects usually pass quickly.
Some people who use PrEP, especially those who have high blood pressure or diabetes, may be at increased risk of kidney and liver problems, so your doctor will check these regularly. Your doctor will let you know about any other relevant risks depending on your circumstances.
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Does Prep Have Any Side Effects
Many people feel no side effects from PrEP, others might experience mild issues like nausea, vomiting, fatigue and dizziness, but these usually disappear within a week or two.
In rare cases PrEP can also affect kidney functions. This is why it’s recommended that people on PrEP have regular health check-ups so that healthcare providers can monitor their health.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience side effects while taking PrEP.
Is Prep Covered By My Insurance
In most cases, yes! Under the Affordable Care Act, PrEP must be free under almost all health insurance plans. That means you canât be charged for your PrEP medication or the clinic visits and lab tests you need to maintain your prescription. There are no out-of-pocket costs for you.
This applies to most private health insurance plans you get through your employer or purchase yourself, individual plans you purchase through HealthCare.gov or state-based Marketplaces, and state Medicaid expansion coverage plans. In some states, the traditional Medicaid program also covers PrEP at no charge. This does not automatically apply to Medicare.
To find out whether your health plan covers PrEP medications without charge:
- If you have private health insurance through your employer or have purchased it yourself: Check with your health insurance company about coverage for PrEP medications, or look on their drug formulary online to find information about coverage for the drugs approved for PrEP.
- If you purchased your health plan through HealthCare.gov or a state-based Marketplace: This NASTAD tip sheetExit Disclaimer can help you verify whether your plan covers PrEP medications.
- If you are on Medicaid: Check with your benefits counsellor.
- If you are on Medicare:Find which plans cover your drugs.
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Addressing The Gap In Knowledge And Access
Despite the gap in PrEP knowledge among the heterosexual community, we can take steps to improve this situation. Tele-PrEP services and the new federal budget to cover PrEP for the uninsured can make the medication more accessible.
Additionally, educating clinicians and young people on HIV and the benefits of PrEP can help combat the stigma.
The troubling CDC statistics means we have to redouble our efforts to reach heterosexual, cisgender women and men with our PrEP messaging. In fact, two of the biggest PrEP trials that led to the approval of PrEP were in heterosexual couples, Dr. Gandhi says.
Nearly 1 in 7 people living with HIV are unaware of their status. Getting tested and considering PrEP can help individuals stay safe and protected.
How Much Does Prep Cost
Most health insurance plans, including Medicaid, cover PrEP. Check with your insurance company to see if PrEP is covered on your plan. You might also be able to get help with other expenses, like copays, coinsurance, and deductibles, through Gilead or patient advocacy groups like the Patient Advocate Foundation.
If you dont have health insurance, you can still get help paying for PrEP. You can apply to get free PrEP through the Ready, Set, PrEP program. Gilead also has a medication assistance program that could make PrEP free for you, depending on your income. Your doctor or nurse will need to submit an application for you to find out if you qualify.
The staff at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center can help you apply for health insurance or assistance programs that can make PrEP affordable for you.
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Can I Still Get Hiv If Im On Prep
When PrEP is used correctly, the effective rate of preventing HIV through sexual transmission is 99%. This preventive treatment option involves taking Truvada or Descovy, a once-daily pill to reduce your risk of contracting HIV. It is meant for people who are HIV-negative but have a higher risk of contracting the virus due to their lifestyle or sexual habits.
The risk of becoming infected with HIV while using PrEP is very low. Therefore, its a beneficial option for those who dont always practice safe sex practices or are sexually active with an HIV-positive partner. If youre at a higher risk of contracting HIV and youre trying to get pregnant, are currently pregnant, or are breastfeeding, using PrEP can also reduce the risk of you and your baby becoming infected with the virus.
If you skip any doses of the medication, your risk of HIV goes up. Its important to make sure to take it exactly as directed. Using condoms every time you have sex can also lessen the risk of contracting HIV. Its important to remember that PrEP does not protect against any other sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. The use of condoms along with PrEP can help you reduce your chances of contracting any STIs, including HIV.
Nurx offers PrEP for HIV prevention for as little as $0 with insurance for medication.
Does Pep Cause Side Effects
Some people taking PEP may have side effects, like nausea. The side effects are usually not serious and often get better over time. If you are taking PEP, tell your health care provider if you have a side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
PEP medicines may also interact with other medicines that a person is taking . So it’s important to tell your health care provider about any other medicines that you take.
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How To Access Prep
PrEP is available for free from sexual health clinics in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“PrEP is available on the NHS, meaning everyone has the right to access it. If you want to start taking it, your first port of call should be your local sexual health clinic,” says Freedman. “Lots of people choose to buy PrEP on the internet, which, while legal and typically safe, can be expensive. As we see it, no one should be forced to pay over-the-odds for a treatment which theyre legally entitled to receive from the NHS.”
When To Use Prep
If you are at a higher risk of contracting HIV due to your sexual activity or lifestyle, PrEP may be a good option for you. You may be at a higher risk if you are a man who has sex with other men, you are in sexual relationships with HIV-positive partners, or you use intravenous drugs.
Nurx offers PrEP for HIV prevention for as little as $0 with insurance for medication.
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How Often Are Medical Appointments For Prep
People who want to take PrEP to prevent HIV can work with their healthcare provider to determine the schedule of medical appointments that best meets their needs. Here is a general description of the schedule of medical appointments for PrEP.
- Initial Medical Appointment: This first appointment includes education about PrEP, a discussion about readiness to take PrEP, a review of PrEP options, HIV testing, and other lab work. If the person is ready to start PrEP, the medication can be started right after the initial medical appointment.
- First Follow-Up Contact: The healthcare provider and person should make a plan for a follow-up appointment or call at a convenient time, usually within 2-4 weeks, to:
- Check in on how things are going, including side effects
- Troubleshoot any problems with payment or access to support services.