Immunodeficiency Center (IDC)

Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

HIV Prevention

Einstein's comprehensive HIV prevention program includes education, risk reduction counseling, HIV testing, access to PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) services, adherence support, provision of condoms and community outreach. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at 267-785-0892 (call or text)

Free condoms can be mailed to your home! Click here to order.

Learn about safer sex during the COVID-19 pandemic here:

HIV Testing

It is important for everyone to know their HIV status. HIV Testing is recommended as part of routine health screenings, at least once a year. Some may benefit from more frequent testing, every 3-6 months, depending on risk.

Free walk-in rapid HIV testing is available for anyone 18+ years old:
Einstein’s Community Practice Center
1300 W. Tabor Road, Philadelphia PA 19141
Monday-Friday from 9:00 am –12:00pm and 1pm –4 pm

If you are under 18 and looking for an HIV test, contact us at 267-785-0892. Primary care providers and city health centers also provide HIV testing. To find a testing center near you, search by zip code at locator.aids.gov or aidsvu.org. You can also order an at-home HIV test kit here.

PrEP: Pre-exposure prophylaxis

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. PrEP is a daily medication to prevent the acquisition of HIV infection. PrEP can be taken by HIV-negative people who are at risk of being exposed to HIV through sexual contact or injection drug use. PrEP is not harmful during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Truvada and Descovy are currently the only medications approved for PrEP and are about 99% effective in preventing HIV infection when taken every day. PrEP is for HIV-negative persons, regardless of age, sexual orientation or gender identity.

PrEP is recommended for:

  • People who have multiple sex partners
  • People who do not always use condoms
  • People who have an HIV-positive sexual partner
  • People who have had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past 6 months
  • People who have injected drugs in the past 6 months
  • People who have shared injection equipment in the past 6 months
  • People who are involved in commercial or transactional sex work

PrEP is safe with minor side effects experienced by few people. Some people report stomach upset or headache that usually goes away in a couple of weeks. Talk to your medical provider about how to minimize any potential side effects.

Taking a pill every day may take some getting used to. There are various strategies that help people to remember to swallow that blue pill every day. Pill boxes help a lot to keep track if you have taken the medication each day. Some use an alarm, others use an app on their phone, and some put it near the toothbrush. Talk to your provider about your routine and make a plan that works best for you.

PrEP does not prevent transmission of other STIs including herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis. PrEP does not prevent pregnancy. It should be used with condoms for maximum protection. Lab tests for HIV and STIs will be done prior to starting PrEP.

Once on PrEP, it is important to test for HIV and STIs every 3 months. Regular lab visits are important to keep your body safe. Refills for PrEP will be given every three months after getting labs done.

PEP: Post-exposure prophylaxis

PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. PEP is a combination of 2-3 medications to prevent acquisition of HIV for people who recently had a potential exposure to HIV either through direct contact with body fluids or through sex or sharing injection equipment with someone who might have HIV.  PEP must be started between 36-72 hours of exposure and must be taken for 28 days to be effective.  PEP is for any HIV-negative person that has had a high-risk exposure to HIV, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

High-risk exposures to HIV within 72 hours include:

  • Receptive and insertive anal and/or vaginal intercourse
  • Sharing of injection equipment
  • Injuries with exposure to potentially infected body fluid/blood through needle sticks or accidents.

HIV Transmission

Anyone who has ever had sex without a condom or has shared a needle might have been exposed to HIV. Often a person with HIV does not appear to be sick. HIV is spread only in certain body fluids from a person infected with HIV. These fluids are: blood, semen, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids and breast milk.

Want to learn more or get started on PrEP? 

Contact us at  267-785-0892 (call or text) 
Voice messages are returned within 24 business hours. 
Hours:  Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Want to bring HIV prevention information to your community?

We can table at your event, run a workshop, or develop an educational experience customized to your needs. Contact John at 215-456-3587 for information on community education and outreach.

More information

HIV Content Notice

This site contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics. If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please exit this website.

Meet the Doctor: Hussein Safa, MD: Dr. Safa is a physician in the Immunodeficiency Center and medical director of the Pride Program.
Read the full story here.

The IDC celebrates 25 years!

Learn more about the IDC, and how the staff has seen many positive developments in the treatment of HIV/AIDS by reading the latest Einstein Perspectives blog post.  

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