Sexual Health for Youth: What you need to know


HIV is more preventable than ever. So, let's talk about PrEP, PEP and U=U.

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 insurance plans (public and private) cover PrEP.

PrEP works for youth, women, men, trans people, people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and people who inject drugs.

PEP, or post-exposure prophylaxis, is a combination of medications you can take AFTER a possible exposure to HIV if you are not on PrEP or have missed taking PrEP as prescribed. PEP is more effective the sooner it’s started, and must be started within 72 hours of the exposure. PEP is taken daily for 28 days.

Undetectable means that when a person living with HIV regularly takes medications, it keeps the virus at very low levels. This is also called “undetectable viral load”. People who take their HIV medicines as prescribed and stay undetectable have no risk of passing on HIV through sex. This concept is also known as U=U, short for “undetectable = untransmittable.”

These HIV prevention strategies are tools you can use alone or together to have the sex you want and reduce your chances of getting HIV!

PrEP and PEP: The Basics, by Planned Parenthood



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 inject drug and share needles

Or, check out this one-page PrEP primer from Planned Parenthood.

Online PrEP providers are also available for youth with parental permission, including Stanford Medicine's Virtual PrEP Program for youth up to 25 years old.

Clinician Consultation Center’s PrEPLine – Share this link with your medical provider if they are new to PrEP and would like expert clinical consultation by phone.

Help Desk (if a provider refuses to prescribe PrEP) – Lambda Legal

What to Do If Your Provider Says “No” to PrEP – Human Rights Campaign

➔ Check out HIVE’s blog

➔ Check out the following social media groups:

Check out these articles we wrote in partnership with

➔  Is PrEP Right for you?

➔  Let’s Talk About (Safer) Sex

➔  People Talk About Their Decision to Use PrEP

➔  Check out our State Resources pages to find PrEP resources in your state.

➔ California Specific Resources:

➔ Medisafe Meds and Pill Reminder app (iPhone  or Android)

➔ Every Dose, Every Day app (iPhone or Android)