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ARC HIV Prophylaxis (PrEP)

HIV prevention treatment

PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a way to prevent people who do not have HIV/AIDS from getting it. This treatment, designed for people who are at substantial risk of getting HIV infection, consists of taking a pill every day. The pill (Truvada) contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) that are used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through high-risk behaviors, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection.

Effectiveness of PrEP treatment

When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. People who use PrEP must commit to taking the drug every day and seeing their health care provider for follow-up every three months.

PrEP is a powerful HIV prevention tool, but it does not protect against STDs. When combined with condoms and other prevention methods, PrEP offers greater protection than when used alone.

PrEP FAQs

  • How effective is PrEP treatment?

    PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by up to 99% when taken as prescribed.

    Although there is less information about how effective PrEP pills are among people who inject drugs, we know that PrEP pills reduce the risk of getting HIV by at least 74% when taken as prescribed. Currently, PrEP shots are not recommended for people who inject drugs.

    PrEP is less effective when not taken as prescribed.

  • How long does it take for PrEP treatment to work?

    For receptive anal sex (bottoming), PrEP pills reach maximum protection from HIV at about seven days of daily use.

    For receptive vaginal sex and injection drug use, PrEP pills reach maximum protection at about 21 days of daily use.

    No data is available for PrEP pill effectiveness for insertive anal sex (topping) or insertive vaginal sex.

    We don’t know how long it takes for PrEP shots to reach maximum protection during sex.

  • What are the side effects that may come from PrEP treatment?

    Some people experience side effects like diarrhea, nausea, headache, fatigue, and stomach pain. These side effects usually go away over time.

    Tell your ARC provider about any side effects that are severe or do not go away.

  • If I am not at ongoing risk for getting HIV, can I take PrEP only when I’m at risk?

    Taking PrEP pills only when you are at risk for contracting HIV is known as “on-demand” PrEP. The “on-demand” method is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is not recommended by CDC. Taking PrEP as prescribed is currently the only FDA-approved schedule for taking PrEP to prevent HIV. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV.

  • What if I need to stop taking PrEP?

    There are several reasons why people stop taking PrEP:

    • Your risk of getting HIV becomes low because of changes in your life.
    • You don’t want to take a pill as prescribed or often forget to take your pills.
    • You have side effects from the medicine that are interfering with your life.
    • Blood tests show that your body is reacting to PrEP in unsafe ways.

    Talk to your ARC provider about other HIV prevention methods that may work better for you if you need to stop taking PrEP.

  • If I stopped taking PrEP, how do I start taking it again?

    Talk to your ARC provider if you are considering resuming PrEP. Before restarting PrEP, you must undergo an HIV test and confirm a negative test result. Your ARC provider will notify you if additional testing is needed.

  • Can I take PrEP just once if I think I might have recently been exposed to HIV?

    PrEP is for people who are at ongoing risk for HIV.

    PrEP is not the right choice for people who may have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours.

    If you may have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, talk to your ARC provider, an emergency room doctor, or an urgent care provider about PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).

  • Can I take PrEP while on birth control?

    There are no known interactions between PrEP and hormone-based birth control methods, e.g., the pill, patch, ring, shot, implant, or IUD. It is safe to use both at the same time.

  • Will PrEP interfere with my hormone therapy?

    There are no known drug conflicts between PrEP and hormone therapy, and there is no reason why the drugs cannot be taken at the same time.

  • Can I stop using condoms if I take PrEP?

  • Can I take PrEP during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

    If you have a partner with HIV and are considering getting pregnant, talk to your ARC provider about PrEP if you’re not already taking it. PrEP may be an option to help protect you and your baby from getting HIV while you try to get pregnant, during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.

  • Can adolescents take PrEP?

    Yes. PrEP pills are approved for use by adolescents without HIV who weigh at least 77 pounds (35 kg) and at risk for getting HIV from sex or injection drug use.

Locations & Providers

  • ARC Bastrop
    622 West State Highway 71
    Suite 102
    Bastrop, TX 78602
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    • Nathan W. Anderson, MD
      Nathan Anderson, MD
      Nathan W. Anderson, MD
      Family Medicine
      4.8

      Ages Seen: 0 - 99

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  • ARC Buda
    3420 FM 967
    Suite B-100
    Buda, TX 78610
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    • MaryAnn Cecelia Katherine Gamble, MD
      MaryAnn Gamble
      MaryAnn Cecelia Katherine Gamble, MD
      Family Medicine
      4.8

      Languages: Spanish Ages Seen: 6 - 99

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  • ARC East 7th
    2785 East 7th Street
    Austin, TX 78702
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    • Natalie A. Williams, MD
      Natalie Williams, MD
      Natalie A. Williams, MD
      Family Medicine Healthiness Program
      4.8

      Ages Seen: 5 - 99

  • ARC Far West
    6835 Austin Center Boulevard
    Austin, TX 78731
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    • Christopher Chang, MD
      Christopher Chang, MD
      Christopher Chang, MD
      Family Medicine
      4.8

      Languages: Spanish, Mandarin (not Cantonese) Ages Seen: 6 - 99

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    • Bruce M. Doxey, MD
      Bruce Doxey, MD
      Bruce M. Doxey, MD
      Family Medicine
      4.7

      Ages Seen: 7 - 99

    • Jesse W. Dunkle, MD, MPH
      Jesse Dunkle
      Jesse W. Dunkle, MD, MPH
      Internal Medicine
      4.8

      Accepting new patients Ages Seen: 18 - 99

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    • Megan H. Hoang, APRN, FNP-C
      Megan Hoang, APRN, FNP-C
      Megan H. Hoang, APRN, FNP-C
      Family Medicine
      4.8

      Accepting new patients Ages Seen: 16 - 99

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    • Hillary Gwen Miller, MD
      Hillary Miller, MD
      Hillary Gwen Miller, MD
      Family Medicine Healthiness Program
      4.8

      Ages Seen: 18 - 99

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  • ARC Kelly Lane
    2100 Autumn Slate Drive
    Suite 150
    Pflugerville, TX 78660
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    • Travis M. Averitt, DO
      Travis Averitt, DO
      Travis M. Averitt, DO
      Family Medicine
      4.8

      Accepting new patients Ages Seen: 7 - 99

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    • Rita I. Chukwurah, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
      Rita Chukwurah, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
      Rita I. Chukwurah, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
      Family Medicine
      4.8

      Accepting new patients Languages: Igbo (Nigeria) Ages Seen: 5 - 99

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    • Sangeetha Mariappan, MD, MPH
      Sangeetha Mariappan
      Sangeetha Mariappan, MD, MPH
      Family Medicine
      4.8

      Accepting new patients Ages Seen: 5 - 99

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  • ARC Kyle Plum Creek
    4100 Everett Street
    Suite 400
    Kyle, TX 78640
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    • Tera C. Brooks, MD
      Tera Brooks, MD
      Tera C. Brooks, MD
      Family Medicine Healthiness Program
      4.8

      Languages: French Ages Seen: 6 - 99

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    • Shane C. Constable, MD
      Shane Constable, MD
      Shane C. Constable, MD
      Family Medicine Healthiness Program
      4.7

      Accepting new patients Ages Seen: 1 - 99

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    • Dana M. Garcia, MD
      Dana  Garcia
      Dana M. Garcia, MD
      Family Medicine
      4.8

      Ages Seen: 9 - 99

    • Jonathan Nicholas (Nick) Posey, MD
      Jonathan Posey, MD
      Jonathan Nicholas (Nick) Posey, MD
      Internal Medicine
      4.8

      Languages: Spanish Ages Seen: 18 - 99

  • ARC Round Rock
    940 Hesters Crossing Road
    Round Rock, TX 78681
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    • Daniel J. Kelly, MD
      Daniel Kelly, MD
      Daniel J. Kelly, MD
      Family Medicine Healthiness Program
      4.8

      Ages Seen: 16 - 99

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    • Michelle S. Kuczkowski, MSN, FNP-C
      Michelle Kuczkowski, MSN, FNP-C
      Michelle S. Kuczkowski, MSN, FNP-C
      Family Medicine Healthiness Program
      4.8

      Accepting new patients Ages Seen: 5 - 99

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    • Miriam U. Nnabuihe, APRN, FNP-C
      Miriam Nnabuihe
      Miriam U. Nnabuihe, APRN, FNP-C
      Family Medicine
      4.8

      Accepting new patients Languages: Igbo Ages Seen: 18 - 99

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  • ARC South 1st
    3828 South 1st Street
    Austin, TX 78704
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    • Donald R. Brode, MD
      Donald Brode, MD
      Donald R. Brode, MD
      Family Medicine
      4.8

      Ages Seen: 0 - 99

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  • ARC Southwest
    1807 West Slaughter Lane
    Suite 490
    Austin, TX 78748
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    • Rudxandra Aguiar, MD
      Rudxandra Aguiar, MD
      Rudxandra Aguiar, MD
      Internal Medicine
      4.8

      Languages: Spanish Ages Seen: 18 - 99

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    • Mark S. Ambler, MD
      Mark Ambler, MD
      Mark S. Ambler, MD
      Family Medicine
      4.8

      Languages: Spanish Ages Seen: 2 - 99

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    • Erin R. Burge, MSN, RN, FNP-C
      Erin Burge, MSN, RN, FNP-C
      Erin R. Burge, MSN, RN, FNP-C
      Family Medicine Healthiness Program
      4.8

      Accepting new patients Ages Seen: 18 - 99

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    • Jeffrey W. Champ, MD
      Jeffrey Champ, MD
      Jeffrey W. Champ, MD
      Family Medicine Healthiness Program
      4.7

      Accepting new patients Ages Seen: 18 - 99

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    • Aleida Fernandez-Rubio, PA-C, MPAS
      Aleida Fernandez-Rubio, PA-C, MPAS
      Aleida Fernandez-Rubio, PA-C, MPAS
      Family Medicine Healthiness Program
      4.8

      Accepting new patients Languages: Spanish Ages Seen: 18 - 99

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