PrEP and PEP Prescriptions

PrEP 101

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a daily medicine that can stop HIV from replicating inside the body. It is prescribed for HIV-negative individuals who are at an ongoing higher risk of getting HIV.

PrEP may be a good fit for you if you have had anal or vaginal sex in the past six months AND 1) have a sexual partner with HIV or 2) do not use condoms consistently. It also may be a good fit if you use injection drugs AND 1) have an injection partner with HIV or 2) share needles, syringes or other supplies.

Truvada and Descovy are the two PrEP medication options available at this time. Different factors may affect which prescription is a better fit for your needs. Talk to a health center provider for more information.

If you are interested in a PrEP prescription, call the University Health Center at 402-472-5000 to schedule an appointment with a health care provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe?

PrEP has been proven to be safe, but like other medicines, there are potential side effects. These include headache, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea and stomach pain. These side effects usually go away over time. For more information about side effects, talk to your health center provider. You can also explore side effects for Truvada and Descovy on their websites.

Is it effective?

When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV. It reduces the risk of getting HIV when taken consistently by more than 99% by sexual contact and more than 74% for patients using IV drugs. Learn more about effectiveness from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

How can I start PrEP?

If you are considering taking PrEP, talk to your health care provider. Before you begin PrEP, your provider will have you tested for HIV. You will be required to visit your health care provider every three months while taking PrEP to continue HIV testing and renew your prescription script. To schedule an appointment with a health center provider, call 402-472-5000.

Can I stop taking PrEP once I start it?
Yes. There are several reasons you may need to stop taking PrEP, including:
  • Life changes result in lower HIV risk
  • You don’t want to take a pill as prescribed or often forget to take your pills
  • Side effects are impacting your life
  • Blood tests show that your body is reacting to PrEP in unsafe ways
Talk to your health care provider before stopping your medication. Your provider can explain other HIV prevention methods that may work better for you.

PEP 101

Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, is a medicine prescribed by a health care provider in emergency situations after a person has potentially been exposed to HIV. Some examples of when PEP may be right for you include:

  • After unprotected sex (for example, if the condom broke)
  • After sharing needles, syringes or other equipment to inject drugs
  • If you have been sexually assaulted

PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV in order to be effective. The sooner you start PEP, the better. If you are prescribed PEP, you must take it daily for the next 28 days.

PEP is not a substitute for regular use of other HIV prevention. If you are at ongoing high risk for HIV, PrEP may be a good fit for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe?

PEP has been proven to be safe, but like other medicines, there are potential side effects, such as nausea. In almost all cases, these side effects can be treated and aren’t life-threatening.

Is it effective?

If it is taken within 72 hours after possible exposure and taken correctly over the next 28 days, PEP is highly effective in preventing HIV. However, it is still recommended that you take measures to protect your partner(s) while you are taking PEP, including always using condoms and not sharing needles, syringes or other equipment to inject drugs.

I am worried I've been exposed to HIV. How can I get a PEP prescription?

If you are concerned about a possible exposure, call the health center at 402.472.5000 as soon as possible after the incident. If the health center is closed, you may wish to visit a nearby urgent care or emergency room facility.