HIV Services

HIV Prevention and PrEP



At Friends of Family Health Center, our unwavering commitment is to HIV prevention for those at risk. We foster a supportive and non-judgmental environment, ensuring that everyone feels respected and understood. Our community outreach program features the latest HIV preventive treatment options and a question hotline, empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health.

Learn more:   HIV Testing  |  PEP  |  DoxyPEP  |  PrEP  |  HIV Education Hotline

Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. If left untreated, a person can begin to develop AIDS (Autoimmune Deficiency Syndrome). AIDS is the fourth stage of the HIV infection. Once a person has developed AIDS, their immune system becomes so weak that they can no longer fight off diseases. Although there are current on-going studies for a vaccine, there is currently no cure for HIV. HIV is considered a chronic disease. This means it requires lifelong treatment. An individual receiving proper HIV medical care, can live a long and healthy life. People can live with HIV for years without any signs and symptoms. Not every person with HIV will go on to develop AIDS.

In order for HIV to be transmitted it must get from the body of a HIV positive person into the body of another person.

HIV is found in:

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Vaginal Fluid
  • Breast Milk
  • Rectal Secretions (rectal discharge)

Transmission can occur through:

  • Unprotected sexual contact
  • Sharing of needles to inject drugs
  • Blood transfusions (in countries where there is no screening)
  • Mother to baby during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding
  • Stay Abstinent. We understand sex happens, and if it does use condoms. #noglovenolove
  • Limit your sexual partners. If you decide to engage with multiple sex partners, ask them if they have been tested and make sure you are getting STI tested.
  • Do not inject drugs. If you do plan to inject, never share needles with anyone.
  • Get tested. If you are pregnant, make sure you are HIV tested to ensure no transmission to baby.
  • If you believe you are at Risk for contracting HIV, talk to one of our Providers about PrEP (Oral or Injectable)
  • Remember, if you have been exposed to HIV or think you have been exposed, call us to schedule you for a PEP appointment – Post Exposure Prophylaxis.


HIV Testing

Getting tested for HIV is crucial for maintaining your health and safeguarding your loved ones. We provide three types of tests depending on when you believe you were exposed to HIV. Remember that no HIV test can detect the virus immediately after exposure due to the window period—the time between exposure and test detection. The window period varies depending on the test type. If you suspect recent exposure, consider seeking post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) promptly. Always consult your health care provider to determine the most suitable HIV test for your situation. 

Nucleic Acid Test (NAT)—A NAT can usually tell if you have HIV infection 10 to 33 days after exposure. It is performed by a lab on blood from your vein. Results take 1 to 2 weeks.

Antigen/Antibody Test—An antigen/antibody test performed by a laboratory on blood from your vein can usually detect HIV infection 18 to 45 days after exposure. Lab results take 1 to 2 weeks.

*An antigen/antibody test done with blood from a finger prick takes longer to detect HIV (18 to 90 days after an exposure). These results take 30 minutes.

Antibody Test—An antibody test can usually detect HIV infection 23 to 90 days after an exposure. There are various Antibody Tests available. Most rapid tests and self-tests are antibody tests. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein detect HIV sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid. Many antibody tests give results in 30 minutes or less.

OraQuick is a commonly available antibody test.



PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) is the use of antiretroviral drugs after a single high-risk event to stop HIV acquisition. PEP must be started as soon as possible to be effective—and always within 72 hours of a possible exposure.

  • Taking PEP will not protect you from other sexually transmitted infections or unplanned pregnancy. PEP is to be used under emergency measures only.
  • If the at-risk for HIV transmission encounter happens when Friends of Family Health Center is closed, please go to your nearest Emergency Room or Urgent Care.


Though not for the prevention of HIV, DoxyPEP is often intertwined. Doxycycline Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (DoxyPEP) means taking the antibiotic doxycycline after unprotected sexual activity to prevent getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). This type of treatment only works at preventing bacterial STIs such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Prevention is not 100%. Studies show that DoxyPEP can reduce syphilis and chlamydia transmission by 74%-88%, and gonorrhea by 55%-57%.

  • DoxyPEP treatment must begin no  later than 72 hours after possible exposure.
  • DoxyPEP does NOT protect against viral infections such as HIV, Mpox, HPV, and herpes.
  • If the at-risk for STI transmission encounter happens when Friends of Family Health Center is closed, please go to your nearest Emergency Room or Urgent Care.

Further information:
HIV Meds Update: DoxyPEP - Doxycycline for STI Prevention
Don't Take Chances: Why Doxycycline is a Great Bet Against STIs
DoxyPEP for STI Prevention

PrEP Medication

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a prescribed anti-retroviral (ARV) medication that is given to HIV-negative people in order to prevent HIV transmission. PrEP was first approved for use in the United States in 2012.

PrEP works by stopping HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout the body. By taking PrEP the individual reduces the chance of getting HIV from having sex without a condom, and from sharing needles or equipment to inject or use drugs. This medication can be taken orally or by injection. PrEP will not protect against STIs.

HIV Negative

  • Individual must be HIV negative prior to PrEP. No Suspicion/symptoms of acute HIV Infection.
  • HIV usually develops within 2-3 weeks after someone acquires HIV.

At substantial risk of HIV Exposure

  • An HIV negative person who has shared needles or drug preparation equipment within the past 6 months.
  • An HIV negative person who has frequent unprotected sex with multiple partners.

Willingness to use PrEP as prescribed

  • Friends of Family believes that you are in complete control of making own decisions for your sexual health. We are not here to force, only to support.

Creatinine Clearance

  • Ensures the client’s kidneys are working properly.

The majority of PrEP treatment costs are covered by most health insurance programs (including medical). It's as ordinary as paying for any other prescription for many folks. If you're uninsured or can't afford your out-of-pocket payments, the patient assistance programs listed below may be a great resource. The Federal Poverty Level (FPL) is used in each program to determine a person's income.


PrEP Providers

Viviana E. Lomeli
HIV Community Outreach Coordinator



 HIV Education Hotline

Call with any PrEP, PEP, STI or HIV preventive related questions.


  Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm


Ask any question about HIV Prevention and PrEP

Phone number:
Your Message: