What if my partner has questions about my PrEP use?

Many people still have misunderstandings about PrEP so it is important to be ready with your response. Let’s talk about some potential ways your partner, or someone else you tell, might respond if you told them about PrEP. It can be helpful if you have someone in your life to support you, but not everyone reacts positively.

What your partner could say:

  • Using PrEP means you’re having other partners or want to have other partners.

How you can respond:

  • I’m taking PrEP because I care about our relationship, to be sure I stay HIV-negative so I can care for you.

What your partner could say:

  • Using PrEP means you don’t trust me…

How you can respond:

  • It’s not about trust. Sometimes unexpected things happen that could put one of us at risk – a wild night, a stupid mistake.  I don’t like the sound of any of those things, but you can never be too careful when infection rates are still high in our community.

What they could say:

  • If you’re using PrEP, then I’m protected too!

How you can respond:

  • Actually, PrEP only protects the person who is taking it. If you want to be protected, you could take it too.

What they could say:

  • Oral PrEP will cause me to have health problems or is unsafe.

How you can respond:

  • PrEP is safe and has been approved by the Government of South Africa.  It is also approved in other countries, such as: the United States of America, Lesotho, Malawi, Kenya, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, among others.

What they could say:

  • Oral PrEP will affect your future fertility.

How you can respond:

  • PrEP does not impact future fertility and is also safe to use in pregnancy.

What they could say:

  • Well now we don’t have to use condoms, let’s put those things away.

How you can respond:

  • PrEP reduces risk of HIV infection if used correctly, it doesn’t protect from other STIs such as herpes and gonorrhea, and it doesn’t protect against pregnancy. Let’s keep using condoms to be totally protected.

What they could say:

  • Using PrEP means you have HIV (it’s actually ARVs)

How you can respond:

  • PrEP is not for HIV treatment. It is for people who are HIV-negative to help them stay HIV free.

Have a look at this video about a young woman whose partner finds out about her PrEP use, be sure to watch to the end, we promise a good ending!

Want tips on how to tell a loved one that you are using PrEP? Look no further than this article

Would you rather not tell anyone that you are using PrEP? That’s okay! Check this out

Want to know what questions people have about PrEP? Find out here

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