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PrEP and the COVID-19 vaccine — What you need to know

by | Mar 13, 2021 | PrEP 101

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the COVID-19 vaccine. We know that we need at least 70% of the population to get it to achieve head immunity, and in basic terms, that means getting back to a somewhat- “normal” life. 

For those of us taking PrEP, we have questions about what this vaccine means for us and how it might interact with our meds. We spoke with Dr. Barbara Gripshover over at University Hospitals and she gave us all the deets.

Should I keep taking PrEP once I receive the vaccine?

Dr. Gripshover says YES! The vaccine will not prevent HIV in any way. It only prevents you from getting COVID. And they’re both a good idea if you’re ready to get back on Jack’d and meeting up with potential partners. 😉  

Do I need to disclose that I’m taking PrEP before getting vaccinated?

The thought of adding another medical appointment to my schedule and having to disclose all my medications and history yet again makes me want to vomit. Thankfully, you will not have to disclose that you’re taking PrEP to the person administering your vaccine.

Did you know that you probably won’t even have to step foot into a medical office or meet with a doctor to get your vaccine? Most local pharmacies are administering the vaccines, like CVS, Drug Mart, and Giant Eagle. Doesn’t get much easier than that!

What side effects will I get from the vaccine if I’m taking PrEP?

The good news train is rolling in! Dr. Gripshover says you will not get any additional side effects from taking PrEP and getting the vaccine simultaneously. Most people do get side effects, and you can expect to see the same ones as someone who is not taking PrEP. Many people get a sore arm and some aches—especially after the second dose. Less commonly, some people also get a fever. But don’t worry, these side effects only last for a day or two and then you should expect to feel back to normal!

Are there any drug interactions?

Nope! It is completely safe to take PrEP and get the vaccine, and neither will make the other less effective. So, if you’re worried you’ll have to play it safe after getting the vaccine and not engage in any Netflix and chill for a while, you can set those worries aside. You’re free to get back on the saddle with your boo as soon as you’re ready!

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I got the COVID vaccine, now what does this mean?

We will all still be wearing masks for the foreseeable future, and the vaccine will be most effective once the majority of the population gets it. And unfortunately, while the vaccine has a high chance of preventing you from falling ill from the virus, you can still be an asymptomatic carrier (someone who doesn’t show symptoms of the virus but can still give it to other people).

What does the vaccine mean for my sex life?

While we’re not out here to tell you what to do (after all, you’re an adult and can make your own decisions), it’s important to remember that getting the vaccine doesn’t mean we automatically return to normal. We recommend continuing to keep your circle small until experts, such as the CDC, tell us we’re safe to do otherwise. If we all keep doin’ what we’re supposed to be doin’, the sooner we can all go back to taking home those hot pieces of ass from the bar. 😉

If you do make the decision to get back into the swing of things after receiving the vaccine—because, like we said, we’re not here to tell you what to do—we recommend continuing to practice safe sex as normal (remember to check yo’ condoms’ expiration dates if it’s been a minute!) and get regular testing for the virus.

 Stay safe and happy vaccination!

Ask for help connecting to a doctor for PrEP.

AKeem Rollins, MetroHealth
Call or Text 216.714.2223