What is Prep?
PrEP is short for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. It is the use of anti-HIV medication that keeps HIV negative people from getting HIV. PrEP is a pill that has two anti-HIV medicines taken daily once a day at more or less the same time t prevent HIV. It takes up to 20 days to fully protected.
PrEP is an extra HIV prevention option and should be taken in combination with other prevention methods such as condoms, treatment for STI’s, Healthy lifestyles, Male circumcision and ART for partners living with HIV. PrEP just reduces your risk before exposure.
PrEP does not:
- Prevent other sexual transmitted diseases
- Prevent pregnancy
- Protect you from HIV after exposure
Starting and Taking PrEP
- Visit you local clinic to do a HIV and blood test screening. If your results come clear and you are HIV negative, then you will receive your first PrEP supply for a month.
- After a month of your first treatment, visit your local clinic for another HIV testing and if your results are clear again you will receive a 3-month prescription and be able to collect your pills every month.
- Every 3 months, return for a HIV test and a new 3-month prescription for PrEP.
The most common side effects include: nausea, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, depression, abnormal dreams, vomiting, rash, problems sleeping and changes in appetite. Even though some people get mild side effects when they start PrEP it does, however, go away after a few weeks.
For your information:
- PrEp is safe and you cannot get HIV from this medicine because it is designed to prevent HIV.
- PrEP can be taken with any kind of contraception, other medicines and even alcohol.
- You don’t have to take PrEP for the rest of your life just until you feel that you are not at risk of HIV anymore.
- PrEP is strictly for HIV negative people and people living with HIV can not use this medicine and should keep to their ARV treatment.