WHAT IS PREP?
PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. This is one way way for a HIV-negative person who is at risk of HIV infection to reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV. It involves taking anti-HIV drugs on a regular basis. The pill provided for PrEP is called Truvada.
WHY TAKE PREP.?
PrEP can provide a high level of protection against HIV,more so when it is taken consistently and combined with condoms and other prevention methods.
WHO SHOULD TAKE PREP?
PrEP is recommended for people who are HIV-negative and at substantial risk for HIV infection. Such people include;
-has multiple sexual partners.
-has a history of sexual transmitted infections in the last 6 months
-is in an ongoing sexual relationship with a HIV-positive partner
-is unable to consistently use condoms with a partner of unknown or HIV positive status.
IS PREP SAFE?
The safety of the drugs being considered for PrEP,tenofovir and emtricitabine has been established through their use of treatment and in safety trials in HIV negative people.
Some people in clinical studies of PrEP has early side effects such as an upset stomach,loss of appetite and mild headaches, but these were mild and usually went away in the first month.
Any side effects observed should be reported to the health provider immediately.
HOW DOES PREP WORK?
If taken properly,PrEP blocks some of the steps that HIV uses to make copies of itself in a person’s body.
If taken daily,presence of the medicine in the blood has been shown by research to stop HIV from taking hold and spreading in the body. If you do not take PrEP every day,there may not be enough medicine in your blood to block the virus.
HOW CAN PREP BE USED EFFECTIVELY?
One pill is taken daily on a continuous basis
For maximum reduction of risk, it must be used with other effective prevention strategies including:
*correct and consistent use of condoms and water based lubricants
*getting HIV testing with partners
*screening and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT PREP?
-You must be tested for HIV to make sure you are HIV negative before starting PrEP
-Only people who are HIV negative should use PrEP
-If you decide to use PrEP you will need to see a health care provider every three months for HIV testing,monitoring for side effects,counselling for risk reduction and support adherence
-PrEP is most effective when used in combination with other prevention methods such as condoms.