Transgender Women and PrEP
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a medication that helps you stay HIV-negative. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective. PrEP is safe and generally well tolerated. Most health plans (public and private) cover PrEP.
PrEP works for women, men, people of transgender experience, people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, youth, and people who inject drugs.
PrEP may be an option for you if:
- You wonder how HIV impacts your life
- Condoms are not used with partners of unknown HIV status
- You or your partner(s) recently had gonorrhea or syphilis
- You want to have sex without condoms with a partner who has HIV
- You have sex for money, food, housing, and/or drugs
- You share needles for injecting drugs
Taking Hormones with PrEP or PEP
It is safe to take hormones while using PrEP or PEP. Many people use Truvada as PrEP, as PEP, or as treatment for HIV, and Truvada does not reduce hormone levels. Although it’s not expected that Descovy PrEP would reduce hormone levels, more research needs to be done to know for sure. Apretude PrEP (by injection) does not alter hormone levels.
Both Truvada PrEP and Descovy PrEP should be used daily by people of trans experience until more data are known.
PrEP and Transgender People
The HIV epidemic disproportionately affects the transgender community, but awareness of prevention efforts using PrEP have been inadequate for this particularly vulnerable group.
TransLine Transgender Medical Consultation Service
TransLine is a collaborative project of expert clinicians in the field of trans health. This page provides in-depth guidance on medical issues, documentation, gender-affirming surgery, legal protections, and more.
Transgender Health Resource Center
From the American Academy of HIV Medicine, this Transgender Health Resource Center provides information on a wide range of subjects concerning transgender health.
Transgender Women and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention
This issue brief was produced by the National Center for Innovation in HIV Care, a partnership between The Fenway Institute, AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, and AIDS United.