Frequently asked questions on PrEP

Can I get HIV from taking PrEP?

No! You can’t. Your body doesn’t have the virus in it if you start PrEP because the clinic will test you for HIV before you start.

Do I have to take PrEP for the rest of my life?

No! PrEP is not for life. You only use PrEP when you feel most at risk of HIV infection.

How long does it take for PrEP to work?

It takes up to 7 days to be fully protected because the oral PrEP needs to build up in your body. To keep protected, you have to keep taking it every day for as long as you want the protection, or feel you are no longer at risk.  You don’t have to take it for the rest of your life, but only for as long as you feel you are at risk for HIV

What happens if I miss a pill?

If you miss a pill, don’t stress. Just take one pill as soon as you remember and keep taking it daily as before. If you regularly forget to take pills, please go back to the clinic to speak to them about how to make sure you are protected from HIV infection. And make sure you use condoms every time you have sex, because PrEP does not prevent other STIs or pregnancy.

Can I take PrEP for one night only?

No. You need to take the pill once a day for at least 7 days before you are fully protected.

Can I use PrEP and family planning together?

Yes, PrEP can be taken with any kind of family planning (contraception).

If I take PrEP, can I stop using condoms when I have sex?

PrEP is an extra HIV prevention option and where possible, should be used in combination with condoms. Also remember that PrEP does not prevent STIs or pregnancy. Using condoms is still the best way to prevent HIV infection.

What happens if you take PrEP and you are HIV-positive?

PrEP is only for HIV negative people and is used to protect them from becoming infected with HIV. If you’re HIV positive, PrEP is not for you. This is because you can’t use PrEP as HIV treatment. HIV-positive people need ART for treatment, given by their health provider.

What about stigma?

You might feel scared that others will stigmatise you because of your PrEP use, have a look at what the MTV Shuga Down South actresses had to say about this.

Click here to find your nearest clinic offering PrEP.

Find out young people’s reasons for taking PrEP here

Learn more about PrEP and how it works in this article

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