When it comes to safe sex, it is always best to proceed with caution. Sure, we have the essentials like condoms, lube and routine STD/STI screenings, but there is more to it than most know.
Within the LGBTQ+ Community, many often hear the term “PrEP” (pre-exposure prophylaxis), or PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), oftentimes at the worst possible moment one could. Yet, by following a regimen of medication (Truvada, or more widely, Descovy through GILEAD), you will be able to eliminate the added stress of fearing protection.
An effective way for preventing HIV is the “PrEP 2-1-1 Method” – a crucial method in order to easily maintain your regimen while remaining sexually active. First, you will take your initial two pills within the first two to twenty-four hours before your first sexual encounter (remember, closer to twenty-four hours is better). Once your first set of pills has been administered, continue to take one pill every twenty-four hours. Once you have stopped having sexual encounters, take the final two pills twenty-four hours apart. (See infographic.)
After the initial dosage, patients are able to continue to take one daily dosage if that feels more comfortable for their daily routine.
Still have questions? No need to fear – please follow along with the graphic below “Taking PrEP 2-1-1 For Anal Sex”, with commonly asked questions PrEP users might have while on their regimen. If you still require further assistance, reach out to Central Outreach Wellness Center at (412) 515-0000, or centraloutreach.com, and speak with a provider.
If you miss a dose, immediately take 2 Truvada pills and contact Central Outreach Wellness at 412-515-0000 or CentralOutreach.com
- Taking the pills as recommended is crucial to making 2-1-1 dosing work for you.
- Use reminders and alarms.
- Use 2-1-1 with all sexual encounters. Don’t pick and choose when to use 2-1-1.
- Switch to daily dosing whenever you want if it’s a better fit for you.
- Always make sure to take the last 2 doses after your last sexual encounter.
A note on FDA review: Once-daily Truvada is currently the only FDA-approved strategy for PrEP. There is an additional strategy called PrEP 2-1-1 for anal sex, where you take Truvada only when you have sex. This additional strategy has not been reviewed by the FDA, as Gilead, the pharmaceutical company, has not submitted this strategy for FDA approval. However, there is substantial published evidence this dosing strategy will work, requiring less lifetime exposure to Truvada compared to once-daily dosing. The San Francisco Department of Public Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), the New York City Department of Public Health, and the International AIDS Society in the USA (professional medical society) endorse PrEP 2-1-1.