PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a highly effective medication that can prevent HIV.
PrEP is available by prescription from doctors, nurse practitioners, and/or physician assistants, but we can help! Caracole is an Ohio PAPI provider. PAPI, or Prevention Assistance Program Interventions, is a program that pays for PrEP-related medical costs, like co-pays, doctor visits and health insurance premiums.
PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV. Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken as prescribed. Among people who inject drugs, PrEP reduces 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.
PrEP pills reach maximum protection from HIV at:
There is no available data on PrEP pill effectiveness for insertive anal sex (topping) or insertive vaginal sex.
It is unknown how long PrEP shots take to reach maximum protection during sex.
PrEP is available as a daily pill or a monthly injection.
While on PrEP, some people may experience side effects like diarrhea, nausea, headache, fatigue and stomach pain as well as potential complications in kidney function. To mitigate this risk, people prescribed PrEP should attend regular check-ups to ensure that the medication is working as intended. Tell your health care provider about any side effects that are severe or do not go away. For more information on side effects, visit the drug manufacturers’ website.
PAPI, or Prevention Assistance Program Interventions, is an Ohio Department of Health program for HIV negative Ohio residents with or seeking a prescription for PrEP. PAPI can help pay for medical costs associated with PrEP, like:
To enroll in the PAPI program, you must:
* 500% of the Federal Poverty Level for a household of one; amount is different for those who have children or more members in the household.
Caracole is a PAPI program provider. Call our main line 513.761.1480 and ask to speak to a PrEP health navigator, who will work with you on what’s needed to enroll in the program. Or visit ohiv.org/free-prep to be referred to a PAPI program provider near you.
PEP, or post-exposure prophylaxis, is a 28-day pill regimen that must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV to prevent the virus from taking hold in your body. Every hour counts. PEP should be used only in emergency situations. It is not meant for regular use by people who may be exposed to HIV frequently.
Caracole cannot prescribe PEP medication. We recommend that you go to an emergency room or talk to your doctor.
Condoms and safer sex kits are available for FREE at our Northside office:
4138 Hamilton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45223
Additional local locations that offer FREE condoms:
Also, ask us about internal condoms! This type of condom is worn inside the vagina or anus and provides the same kind of protection from HIV, STIs and unwanted pregnancy that external condoms provide. Learn more by reading our Condom Use Tips article!
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