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Get PrEP, Not HIV

PrEP, PEP and HIV Prevention

Incredible progress has been made in our ability to prevent HIV, but many people in our Pittsburgh community remain at risk. Men who have sex with men, transgender women, cis women of color, and anyone who uses injection drugs are more at risk for HIV, making PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) an important and effective tool. 

Did you know that with PrEP, you can reduce your risk of HIV infection by 99%?

At Allies for Health + Wellbeing, we want to make it possible for you to take control of your health, protect yourself from HIV, and live your life without fear. That’s why our HIV and PrEP specialist team is proud to remove barriers and offer both PrEP treatment and PEP to anyone who needs it, without cost as an obstacle. When you visit us at Allies, you’ll be respected and understood for who you are, and you’ll be cared for with zero judgment. Every time.

If you’re at risk for HIV and you’re not currently taking PrEP, don’t wait another second to get started. Schedule your first consultation with us today -- we can’t wait to meet you!

Schedule An Appointment

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Take Control of Your Sexual Health

Staying Safe With PrEP

PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) is an FDA-approved, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-recommended daily prevention regimen that, if followed, can reduce your risk of contracting HIV by 99 percent. The regimen includes a daily dose of the pill Truvada or Descovy, as well as regular HIV tests (every 3 months) and periodic kidney testing (every six months). Please note that only individuals who are verified as HIV negative can take PrEP.

PrEP is a tool you can choose to reduce your risk of HIV infection. PrEP is for people who do not have HIV but are vulnerable to contracting it, including:

  • Cisgender men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • Transgender people, particularly transgender women of color
  • Genderqueer and gender non-binary individuals
  • Anyone who uses injection drugs

You should be on PrEP if:

  • You’re HIV-negative and interested in PrEP.
  • You don’t always use condoms when you have anal or vaginal intercourse.
  • Your partner(s) doesn’t wear a condom.
  • You have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection in the last six months.
  • You’re unsure of the HIV status of your sexual partner(s).
  • You’re in a sexual relationship with an HIV-positive partner who may or may not be on HIV treatment.
  • You frequently inject drugs, or you’re in a sexual relationship with someone who does.

If you become an Allies PrEP patient, you can:

  • Access HIV and STI Screenings every three months
  • Get a physical check up every six months
  • Enroll in mail-order prescriptions to have your medication shipped to an address you verify
  • Work with an Allies Health Advocate to answer any questions, and keep track of your appointments.

Additionally, Allies for Health + Wellbeing is proud to offer PrEP telemedicine to our patients who would prefer to receive an online PrEP prescription. TelePrEP is a safe, discreet way to start and keep up with your PrEP regimen. If you’re interested in our telehealth services for going on PrEP, let us know!

Need an appointment later in the day? Allies now offers PrEP testing appointments from 1 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Call us today at 412-345-7456 to schedule your appointment.

Your PrEP appointment

What to expect at a PrEP appointment

At your initial and 6-month follow-up visits, you will be seen by one of Allies' licensed medical providers. For your 3-month follow-up visits, you will meet with one of our Community Health Advocates. 

At all PrEP visits, an Allies staff member will take samples and draw blood for testing. Allies must perform specific tests at your PrEP visit in order for your visit to be covered under your insurance or through the state of Pennsylvania. Your HIV test at your PrEP visit will be a blood test, not a rapid test.

All testing at Allies is processed by Quest Diagnostics, so you may receive notifications from Quest, and Quest may bill your insurance. 

If you receive additional services from Allies during your PrEP appointment - such as primary care or vaccines - or if you would like additional testing, your insurance will be billed for those services, and you may need to make a payment at the time of your appointment.

If you are notified that your insurance company did not pay for your PrEP visit, please request an "Appeals Letter Sample" from Allies staff to appeal to your insurance company.

Protection from HIV Infection

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention

PrEP protects you against HIV during encounters that occur while you’re on the pill, but what happens if you’ve already been exposed? PEP (Post-exposure Prophylaxis) could help. PEP is a regimen of antiretroviral drugs that is designed to isolate the virus, stop its replication and the establishment of infection. However, PEP only works to protect you within 72 hours of exposure. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV (through any means), contact us or go to an emergency room within 72 hours to access PEP.

The most important thing to remember when discussing PrEP versus PEP is that PrEP is a preventative measure against HIV infection, while PEP is a tool to use if you’ve already had a high-risk encounter and fear you may be infected. Second exposure while on PEP hasn’t been studied extensively, but most professionals will tell you that PEP protects you from HIV within the 72-hour window after taking it. 

That said, PEP is not a replacement for PrEP, and should be considered an emergency countermeasure. If you find yourself in need of PEP frequently, the team at Allies for Health + Wellbeing strongly urges you to consider starting a daily regimen of PrEP.

Allies for Health + Wellbeing is proud to provide Descovy for PEP, as well as Truvada PEP for those in need. Simply call us at (412) 345-7456 within 72 hours of exposure. We also encourage you to take advantage of our telehealth services, where you can get your PEP. If you call outside of office hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, please leave a message. An Allies staff member will call you with an appointment to come in and begin treatment. Please note, Allies is NOT an emergency care facility. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Am I really protected from HIV if I’m on PrEP?

PrEP reduces your risk of HIV infection by 99% as long as you take it every single day. That’s why adherence to your prescription is the most effective way to reduce your risk of contracting HIV. 

Is Allies open on weekends?

Please note that Allies Medical Clinic is not open on the weekends. If you need to be seen on a weekend, especially if you need PEP, please go to the nearest emergency room.

What are some common PrEP and PEP side effects?

PrEP is generally well-tolerated with few side effects. Our medical professionals can answer any questions you have concerning PrEP.

Patients have reported some mild side effects after taking PEP, including upset stomach, fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea. These side effects should not be long-lasting, and if you continue to feel them after 72 hours, contact your doctor as soon as you can.

Does Allies provide low-cost PEP medication and PrEP?

Paying for your health + wellbeing should be the last thing you are worried about. You will have access to drug assistance programs to help cover co-pays, and PrEP is covered by most insurance providers.

With Us, You Always Have An Ally!

Get started today with Allies for Health + Wellbeing

(412) 345-7456Schedule An Appointment