I received a HPV vaccine shot a few years ago but never went back for the 2nd and 3rd shots. Should I start all over?

One of the most common questions we get asked is, “If I missed a dose of HPV vaccine, do I need to start all over again from the beginning of the series?”  No, with the HPV vaccine, you can just pick up right where you left off. You get credit for the first or second dose that you’ve already gotten.  If you're < 15, you only need 2 doses of the HPV vaccine.

My doctor said that I tested positive for hepatitis C but that the virus is undetectable. What does this mean?

This means that you were infected with hepatitis C at some point but your body was able to clear (get rid of) the infection, and so you no longer have the virus. Unfortunately, if you are exposed to hepatitis C in the future, you can be re-infected.

Some people never clear hepatitis C and so the virus is still detectable in their blood. This means they are at risk for the complications of having hepatitis C, for instance iver damage, and that they can transmit it to others. Luckily there are well tolerated medications that can treat hepatitis C in as little as 8-12 weeks.

I received a hepatitis B vaccine shot a few years ago but never went back for the 2nd and 3rd shots. Should I start all over?

No. Regardless of when you received your first hepatitis B shot, you do not need to start over. You should go ahead and get your second shot as soon as possible and then get the third shot two months later. You can also ask your provider to order a blood test to see if your body has responded to the vaccine by making antibodies.

What type of lube is best for anal sex?

While water-based lubricants (for example, astroglide) are the most commonly recommended type of lubrication, many people like silicone-based lubricants (for example, Wet). Silicone-based lube lasts longer, is still effective in water and you need less of it. In addition, there are some data that silicone-based lubricants are less irritating to the rectal mucosa (i.e. the butt), and that people who use silicone-based lube are less likely to get rectal STIs than those who use water-based lube. Oil-based lubricants (e.g.

Lately I've been having problems getting an erection while wearing a condom. I'm on PrEP, so I'm not too worried about HIV, but I've had chlamydia and syphilis a few times and want to protect myself against STIs. What should I do?

There a lot of different reasons why you might be having a hard time getting an erection. Sometimes when we're mentally stressed or depressed, our dicks work (or don’t work) differently.  One idea is to practice jacking off with a condom to make it easier to get hard when you're wearing a condom with a partner. You may also want to see a doctor to talk about other things that could be making it difficult to get hard, such as medications or medical problems like diabetes.  Its great that you're on PrEP, but as you shared in your question - PrEP prevents HIV but not other STIs.

I lost my job and my insurance. Is it possible to get PrEP if you're uninsured?

Yes! There are many ways to access PrEP if you're uninsured. Visit PleasePrEPMe.org to find a provider near you. There are also patient assistance programs to help you cover the cost of the medication. If you're in San Francisco, walk-in to SF City Clinic or call us at 415-437-5537 for more info on our PrEP program clinic.