Protect Against HIV.

Love is contractible. Lust is transmittable. Touch is contagious. Catch feelings, not HIV.

Protecting yourself from HIV is easy and effective and can help you feel sexier and in control. With just one pill, taken once a day, PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) lowers your chance of contracting HIV by up to 99%. Men who have anal sex may also choose a non-daily dosing regimen in which you take pills before and after sex — known as 2+1+1. Ask your PrEP provider for more details. And did you know? If you are an Illinois resident, your PrEP prescription is FREE!

More About PrEP
Find a PrEP Provider in Illinois

PrEP at a Glance

Oral HIV Prevention.

PrEP is an HIV prevention pill that is up to 99% effective when taken consistently and correctly.

PrEP Is for HIV-Vulnerable People.

PrEP can be for any sexually active HIV-negative person, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This includes adults and adolescents.

You’re in Control.

PrEP helps you take control of your health and connects you with health providers to help keep you on track.

It’s Covered.

PrEP is covered by most insurance plans as well as Medicaid. There are also payment assistance programs available for people who are insured or uninsured.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pleasure and sexual intimacy are important, whether it’s with your long-term partner or with someone you’ve just met. They are important for everyone, whatever your gender identity or sexual orientation.

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a pill for HIV-negative people who are especially vulnerable to getting HIV. Taken daily, PrEP is up to 99% effective at preventing HIV. Men who have anal sex may choose a non-daily dosing regimen in which you take pills before and after sex — known as 2+1+1. Ask your PrEP provider for more details.

The FDA has approved two different pills for PrEP – Truvada and Descovy. Truvada is approved as PrEP for sexually active adults and adolescents of all genders and sexualities. Descovy is approved as PrEP for sexually active adults and adolescents who engage in receptive anal sex. Descovy is not approved as PrEP for people who engage in receptive vaginal intercourse. Both Truvada and Descovy have been shown to be safe and up to 99% effective at preventing HIV.

Many people who take PrEP report they experience peace of mind while having sex. That peace of mind brings relief from the intense fear — and stigma — of HIV that has characterized our sexual lives for far too long. PrEP users also report feeling safer in their relationships and more in control regarding their sexual health and wellness. What’s sexier than that?

PrEP Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention →
Are you HIV-vulnerable? →

PrEP is about self-determination. It’s a tool you can choose to make your sex life safer and take control of your sexual health and wellness. PrEP is designed for people who are HIV-negative and vulnerable to getting HIV. PrEP can be prescribed for gay and bisexual men, for heterosexual men and women, for transgender individuals, and for genderqueer or nonbinary people. PrEP can also help people who inject drugs stay HIV-negative. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved PrEP for adults in 2012 and expanded the approval to include adolescents in May 2018. Click here for a POZ article on the approval of PrEP for adolescents.

You might consider PrEP if:

  • You don’t always use condoms (external or internal) when you have anal or vaginal intercourse. “Always” means every time, not sometimes.
  • You don’t always ask your partner(s) to 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 partners.
  • You're in a relationship with an HIV-positive partner who may or may not be on HIV treatment.
  • You are a person who injects drugs, or you’re in a sexual relationship with an injection drug user.
  • You’re HIV-negative and interested in PrEP.
Considerations For Taking PrEP from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention →

There are two different drugs that have been approved for PrEP by the FDA: Truvada and Descovy. Each drug is proven to be safe and up to 99% effective at preventing HIV.

Short term: When starting PrEP with either drug, a small percentage of individuals may experience nausea, diarrhea and/or headaches. All these symptoms tend to go away quickly.

Long term: As with any drug, there may be long-term side effects experienced by a small number of people. Truvada and Descovy are slightly different in terms of long-term side effects. Ask your PrEP provider for more information so you can make the best choice for yourself.

You may be drawn to PrEP because of a desire for intimacy and connection you may not feel when wearing condoms. For the prevention of HIV, PrEP taken consistently and correctly is actually more effective than condom use.

That said, PrEP protects against HIV, but it does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. PrEP does not prevent pregnancy. If you have concerns about sexually transmitted infections or unintended pregnancy, the consistent and correct use of condoms (external and internal) is still a great idea.

Chicago’s Free Condoms and Education Resource →

When you take PrEP, you are taking control of your sexual health, but you aren’t in it alone. PrEP is more than just a daily prescription pill; it’s a partnership with your health care provider, who is a judgment-free champion for your health.

Your health care provider will act as your advocate and be there to help you navigate your health. They can help you develop daily dosing habits and counsel you on sexual health. And they are there for regular HIV testing, screening for sexually transmitted infections, and ensuring you stay healthy while on PrEP.

There are many health care providers and clinics in Chicago and other parts of Illinois that provide high-quality, judgment-free PrEP services for all types of people.

PrEP Providers in Illinois →

PrEP is covered by most insurance programs and Medicaid. The level of your coverage will vary by the type of health insurance plan you have. There are also assistance programs that can help you pay for PrEP, regardless of your citizenship status. If you are an Illinois resident, your PrEP prescription is FREE.

Your health care provider and their staff are important resources for helping you navigate your insurance coverage and assistance programs, and they will act as your advocates.

If you live in Illinois, check out PrEP4Illinois →
Gilead’s Insured Co-Pay Assistance Program →
Gilead’s Assistance Program for Uninsured →
Patient Advocate Foundation →

Getting Started

Talk to a Local PrEP Expert

The Chicago Center for HIV Elimination operates a PrEP line to answer your questions about PrEP, insurance coverage, medication assistance programs and providers in the Chicago area.

Contact Your Health Care Provider

PrEP can only be prescribed by a health care provider, so talk to yours to find out if PrEP is the right HIV prevention option for you. If you do not have a trusted health care provider, we can help you find one.

PrEP Providers in Illinois →

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