PrEP – HIV Prevention Medication

SJBPH’s Sexual Health Clinic in Durango and Pagosa Springs provides PrEP, STD testing and STD treatment.

What is PrEP?

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. The word “prophylaxis” means to prevent or control the spread of an infection or disease. PrEP, a pill taken daily, can prevent an HIV-negative person from acquiring HIV from an HIV-positive partner.

  • If you don’t already have HIV, taking PrEP every day can reduce your chances of contracting the virus through sex by more than 90%. Combining condoms and PrEP can help you stay even safer!
  • PrEP can also reduce your chances of contracting HIV from sharing needles by as much as 70%.

Call us: 970-335-2013 or email for an appointment:

Do you want to start taking PrEP?

HIV testing should be conducted before starting PrEP. SJBPH’s Sexual Health Clinic offers low cost STI/STD testing including for HIV.

We’re here to to help, not judge, and we can discuss your situation with you to determine if PrEP is right for you.

Who can benefit from PrEP?

PrEP is a treatment for people who don’t have HIV but are at a higher risk of contracting it.  You should consult SJBPH, or your medical provider, about PrEP if you:

  • Don’t regularly use condoms.
  • Have an HIV-positive sexual partner.
  • Have a sexual partner who is at high risk of contracting HIV (for example, if they engage in anal or vaginal sex with other people without using condoms, or if they use injectable drugs).
  • If you don’t use condoms regularly and have anal or vaginal sex with multiple partners.
  • If you contracted another STD (like chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis).
  • Perform sex work involving vaginal or anal sex.
  • Have you used drugs, shared needles, or been in drug treatment in the last six months?
  • If you’re at high risk for HIV and are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding, PrEP could help you and your baby avoid contracting the virus.

How much does PrEP cost?

PrEP is covered by most health insurance plans, including Medicaid. You can also get help paying for PrEP if you don’t have health insurance or if your insurance doesn’t cover PrEP. 

SJBPH can help you enroll in PHIP which will cover your PrEP related appointments, lab tests, and make you eligible for free medications. Call us at 970-335-2013 for help enrolling in PHIP.

How do I get PrEP?

SJBPH’s Sexual Health Clinic, as well as your local doctors’ office, offers PrEP. Call us: 970-335-2013 or email for an appointment:

To determine if PrEP is right for you, SJBPH’s  medical providers will ask you questions about your sexuality, the protection you use, and your medical history. They’ll also test you for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and other sexually transmitted diseases, and check your kidneys to make sure they’re in good working order.

What else should I know about PrEP?

  • It can take 7-20 days from when you take your first pill until it’s most effective.
  • PrEP must be taken before you come into contact with the virus in order to protect you. PrEP isn’t an HIV cure.
  • PrEP is not a pill that has to be taken indefinitely. You have complete control over when you begin and stop taking PrEP. Just keep in mind that if you don’t take it on a regular basis, you won’t be as safe.
  • Once you’ve started taking PrEP, you’ll need to visit your doctor or nurse every three months to get tested for HIV. They’ll discuss any side effects or symptoms you’re experiencing with you. They may also check for other STDs and make sure your kidneys are in good working order. You might also get a pregnancy test if pregnancy is a possibility for you.
  • It’s critical to take PrEP on a daily basis. If you skip pills, PrEP won’t work as well. If you don’t take it every day, your body may not have enough medicine to keep HIV at bay.
  • Other sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, are not prevented by PrEP. So, in addition to PrEP, use condoms to help you avoid other STDs and provide additional HIV protection.

What are the risks of taking PrEP?

PrEP is extremely safe. People who take PrEP have reported no serious side effects.

Nausea, loss of appetite, and headaches are all possible side effects of PrEP. These side effects aren’t harmful, and they usually improve over time as your body adjusts to PrEP. The majority of PrEP users experience no negative side effects.

Contact Us

Clinic Manager | 970-335-2015

Archuleta County | 970-264-2409 x207

La Plata County | 970-335-2003

Please call 970-335-2013 for an appointment.

Durango Clinic Hours:

  • Walk-ins available for emergency contraceptives and pregnancy tests
    Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
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  • Appointments vary
    Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Pagosa Springs Clinic Hours:

  • Walk-in for emergency contraceptives
    Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
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  • Appointments available Wednesdays.

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