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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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PrEP Basics

FL Dept of Health in Pinellas - Main Contact Information - Phone Available 24 hrs/day


PrEP is safe and can reduce your risk of HIV by more than 90%. It takes at least 1 week on PrEP before you’ll be protected for anal sex and 3 weeks for vaginal sex. Take 1 pill once a day. Finding a routine is essential. Get tested for HIV and STDs every 3 months. Tell your provider if you plan to stop (or restart) PrEP.

One pill per day

• PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is most effective if taken daily.

Lab testing

• Before starting PrEP, you will get tested for HIV, STIs, kidney function, and hepatitis B and C.
• You will also get tested for HIV and STIs every 3 months and a kidney function test every 6 months.

Getting into a routine

• Try to take the pill at the same time each day.
• Consider taking the pill with you if you will be out late.
• Set a calendar or text message reminder.

Missed a dose

• Just take it when you remember. For example: If you usually take it in the AM, but realize at 10PM that you forgot, it’s okay to take 1 pill then continue with your usual schedule the next day (don’t take 2 pills at once).

Possible side effects

• Some people have gas, nausea, or headache. These symptoms go away within the first month.
• PrEP can cause small changes in kidney function and bone mineral density, which return to normal once PrEP is stopped.



• You may be eligible for help covering the cost.
• For help, Contact our PrEP Navigator at (727)568-8006

Filling your prescription

• Refill are not always automatic. Contact your pharmacy when you have 5 pills left so you don’t run out.
• Before traveling, let your healthcare provider and/or pharmacy know that you may need an extra refill if you are low on medication.


PrEP is highly effective but does not protect against other STIs.

When combined with condoms and other prevention tools, PrEP provides a high level of protection against HIV and STIs.