PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis)
Columbia Health offers pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
PrEP is the use of an antiretroviral drug (Truvada) to prevent HIV infection in HIV-negative individuals at significant risk of becoming HIV-positive. Truvada has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection in men who have sex with men, injection drug users, heterosexual cisgender women, and transgender women.
Columbia Health will provide all necessary medical services and prescriptions if you need PrEP. Columbia Health wants to be sure that your experience in obtaining PrEP is simple, non-judgmental, supportive, and fairly rapid, and that you receive all the support you need.
If you are enrolled in the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan, Truvada is covered. You may be eligible to receive reimbursement from the drug manufacturer for the copay. If you have a different insurance, it may pay for PrEP and we will assist you in getting insurance information.
PrEP requires a prescription, a daily pill, and a health care provider visit with blood tests four times a year. Long-term side effects are generally minimal and are monitored by blood tests of kidney function.
You may want to consider PrEP if your sexual partner(s) are positive or if you are in a higher-risk group (including men who have sex with men and trans women) and do not use a condom every time you have anal or vaginal intercourse.