Should I Talk to My Doctor About Getting on PrEP? | Ask the Rev. | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Should I Talk to My Doctor About Getting on PrEP? 

Published February 28, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.

click to enlarge 19510768 © SEAMARTINI | DREAMSTIME
  • 19510768 © Seamartini | Dreamstime

Dear Reverend,

I'm a queer, nearly 40-year-old, pansexual, poly, kinky woman. I have multiple partners at the same time, many of whom also have multiple partners. While most are trusted friends, I do sometimes have casual sex with folks who are — more or less — strangers. Many of my partners are men who sleep with men and women. I use barriers for penetrative sex with all but one partner. Condoms are great for reducing HIV exposure but are not 100 percent and can fail. Should I talk to my doctor about getting on PrEP? Do any insurances cover it for women? Or would I need to pay out of pocket?

Wanda B. Ready (woman, 39)

Dear Wanda B. Ready,

For those who are unfamiliar, PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It's a medicine that you take to prevent getting HIV.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, almost all insurance plans and state Medicaid programs cover PrEP. So you shouldn't have to pay for the medication, lab tests and clinic visits that you need to maintain your prescription.

I'm not a doctor, so you should definitely talk to yours. I can tell you that any sexually active person over the age of 16 can be prescribed PrEP. There are some stipulations, of course: You need to be HIV negative, and the drug may not be suitable if you have certain allergies, are immunocompromised, or have severe liver or kidney problems. As with any medication, be sure to discuss possible negative side effects with your doc.

It sounds to me like you know the ropes, but a friendly reminder never hurts: PrEP doesn't cover other sexually transmitted infections, so continued use of condoms is a must for safer sex.

Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

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The Reverend

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What's your problem? Need some irreverent counsel on life's conundrums? You can always just "Ask the Rev."

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