What is PrEP?

Pre – before

Exposure – coming into contact with HIV

Prophylaxis – a medicine to prevent infection.

What is oral PrEP?

Oral PrEP is a pill that is taken every day. It is used by people who do not have HIV, to protect them from getting infected with HIV. PrEP can only be taken by a person who has a confirmed HIV-negative test! Oral PrEP can ONLY protect you from HIV. It is important to remember that PrEP will not protect you from other infections that you may pick up when you have sex nor will it protect you from falling pregnant.

Using a condom during sex can protect you and your partner from other infections and you from falling pregnant.  There are also many options to protect you from falling pregnant get to know them and make a choice about which contraception method works best for you.

Is PrEP right for you?

PrEP is for you if you’re HIV negative and:

1.       You are having sex with a partner/s whose HIV status you do not know and/or

2.       You having sex without a condom or/and

3.       You having sex with an HIV positive partner who is not taking ARV treatment; or

4.       You have sex whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


How does PrEP work?

PrEP needs to be taken every day and it is safe to use.  When you first start taking PrEP you have to take PrEP for at least 7 days before you are fully protected. Use a condom or avoid having sex in these first 7 days.

Like all medicines especially when you first start taking PrEP some people have complained that they experienced some side effects. These are usually very mild and the do not last longer than a few weeks, but these are usually mild.

It’s important to remember that PrEP is not a treatment for HIV, but an extra HIV prevention method. If you test HIV positive and you not too sure what to do, check out this article I tested HIV positive, what do I do now?

To find out if PrEP is right for you, and where to find PrEP, visit the My PrEP website

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