Myths & Misconceptions
Due to HIV’s impact as a life-changing chronic illness, publicizing the facts — and exposing myths and misconceptions — about PrEP is vital. Here are five of the most common misconceptions about this important medical treatment and what it can and cannot do.
Due to PrEP being useful only to those who are sexually active, those who use PrEP are occasionally associated with promiscuity. In fact, whether you have only one sexual partner or several partners, daily use of PrEP reflects caution, self-discipline and a sense of responsibility. It demonstrates care and respect for your sexual partners and yourself.
Most insurance plans cover PrEP. If you aren’t covered by insurance, there are several patient assistance programs and alternative health care options that can assist you.
Like every other STD prevention method, PrEP is not 100 percent effective, and doctors are still conducting clinical trials to determine how condom use may affect individuals taking the medication. Also, PrEP does not protect the user from other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). That’s why it’s important to continue using condoms even though your HIV risk may already be drastically reduced.
PrEP encourages a safe and respectful approach toward sexual intimacy. PrEP does not encourage sexual promiscuity. Long before PrEP’s arrival, consenting adults of every background regularly engaged in casual sex. PrEP specifically encourages precautionary sex.
Anyone taking a single pill on a day they plan to have sex will do little to decrease their risk of contracting HIV. PrEP simply does not perform like pain relief medication — it’s a matter of weeks before the preventative effects can accumulate. According to the CDC, receptive anal partners should the drug a minimal 7 days and vaginal partners 20 days before engaging in sex. An occasional missed dose will not reduce the drug’s effectiveness, but we recommend taking your PrEP pill every day.