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PrEP: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis to Prevent HIV

PrEP Join The Conversation cafe

"PrEP" stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. The word “prophylaxis” means preventing the spread of HIV. The goal of PrEP is to prevent HIV infection in people at high risk, even if they are exposed to the virus. 

Prevention is the key to stopping the epidemic when there is no cure or vaccine available for the virus. There are about 50,000 new HIV infections each year in the United States. In almost all cases the virus has been transmitted through sexual activity or intravenous drug use. Fortunately, when taken every day, PrEP medication provides a high level of protection against HIV and is even more effective when combined with condoms and other prevention tools, such as open and honest communication. 

PrEP involves taking one pill every day. This pill (also called Truvada) contains some of the same medicines used to keep HIV under control in people who are already living with the virus. The CDC PrEP website is an an excellent source for additional information on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis with information for both consumers and healthcare providers.

Tell me more about PrEP

Watch the videos below to learn why PrEP should be used and how using it correctly and consistently will protect you if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Video: Are You Ready for PrEP? 

(Video from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention covering the basics of starting and using PrEP)

Video: Start Talking, Stop HIV: Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

(Video about PrEP by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention from the Start Talking: Stop HIV series)

 

 

PrEP Talk Testing couple walking CDC


Is PrEP Right for Me?

PrEP is an option for anyone who is at high risk of being exposed to HIV. People who may want to consider PrEP include: 

  • People with an HIV-positive sex or needle-sharing partner
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who inject drugs
  • Transgender people
  • Women with bisexual male sex partners
  • Women with male sex partners who inject drugs

Other factors that will elevate your risk include the factors in the list above combined with:

  • Inconsistent or no condom use, 
  • Multiple sexual partners,
  • A history of other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) such as Syphilis or Gonorrhea.

Only you and your health care provider can determine if PrEP is right for you. This makes finding a health care provider who knows about PrEP and who is also someone you feel comfortable talking with a very important part of getting, and staying, on PrEP.

How Do I Find a PrEP Provider in Montana?

Talk to your primary care provider first, because they have access to your full medical history. If you prefer to find someone else, a list of providers knowledgeable about PrEP may be found GetTested.MT.gov on the map under the PrEP tab. Several providers participate in Montana’s PrEP Assistance Program. and are listed in the table in the following section.

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Any physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant can prescribe the medication used for PrEP, but staying on the medication requires more than just getting a prescription. Using PrEP requires you to first get tested for HIV to verify that you’re negative for the virus before starting PrEP. It also requires regular testing for HIV after you begin PrEP to check that you remain negative for HIV while taking the medication. And you will need other tests periodically to make sure you are not having any side effects. It is also best to continue to test for any other STIs, like syphilis and gonorrhea, just as you would normally, in continued support of your sexual health. The providers in the table below participate in the Montana PrEP Assistance Program. This program helps providers offer PrEP services to un- and under-insured individuals. This program is open to all clinics with licensed prescribers within the State of Montana. 

Providers Affiliated with the Montana State PrEP Assistance Program 

Community Facility Name Address  Main Phone Number
1. Billings Planned Parenthood - West 1844 Broadwater #4
Billings, MT 59102
(406) 656-9980
2. Billings Planned Parenthood - Heights 100 W Wicks Ln
Billings, MT 59105
(406) 869-5040
3. Bozeman Bridger Care 1288 N 14th Ave
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-0681
4. Butte Butte-Silver Bow Family Planning 25 W Front
Butte, MT 59701
(406) 497-5020
5. Great Falls Planned Parenthood - Great Falls 211 9th Street South
Great Falls, MT 59405
(406) 454-3431
6. Havre Bullhook Community Health Center 521 4th Street
Havre, MT 59501
(406) 395-4305
7. Helena Planned Parenthood - Helena 1500 Cannon
Helena, MT 59601
(406) 443-7676
8. Missoula Partnership Health Center 401 Railroad St. W
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 258-4789
9. Missoula Planned Parenthood - Missoula 219 East Main Street
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 728-5490
10. Polson Providence St Joseph Medical Center Six 13th Avenue East
Polson, MT 59860
(406) 883-7496
Contact: Michael Watkins, Pharmacy

For more information on PrEP, including public and private clinics that offer the service, click on any of the links below. The Department of Public Health and Human Services cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-state website.  

GetTested.MT.gov - Click on the PrEP tab  
Get PrEP Montana - from the Montana Gay Men's Task Force
National PrEP Locator - from Emory University with CDC support

National PrEP Locator Site

Other providers of PreP services in the State may be found though the National PrEP Locator site (below). This is an independent site operated by Emory University with CDC support. Information may not be complete as this site depends on providers registering with the site to display their information.


Get Tested Here

Contact information

Cogswell Building
Room C-211
1400 Broadway
Helena, MT 59620
(406) 444-3565

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