Pre-exposure prophylaxis (also called PrEP) is a dose of HIV medications taken by HIV-negative people. It’s used to protect these individuals from developing an infection, particularly if engaging in ongoing relationships with HIV risk factors.
Currently, Truvada has been used by many countries as the PrEP medication of choice, with a single pill containing two anti-HIV drugs. These medications are different than post-exposure prophylaxis, an emergency treatment for HIV. PEP is taken after possible exposure to the virus to minimize the risk of contracting the virus.
Where can I get PrEP medications?
As this medication is available by prescription, people can receive the drug in multiple ways. An online PrEP clinic connects qualified individuals with the medicine. Likewise, people can contact their family doctor or walk-in clinic to determine if the medication would work for their lifestyle.
How Effective is PrEP?
When taken correctly and consistently, PrEP is almost 99% effective. It can virtually eliminate all risks attached to contracting HIV through an infected person. These results have been proven in high-profile trials across the world.
Does PrEP replace the need for condoms?
The answer to this question will depend on your situation. While PrEP is effective at eliminating the risk of HIV, it fails to protect against other sexually transmitted diseases. Hepatitis C, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea are all preventable STIs. PrEP medications also don’t prevent pregnancy.
Taking the PrEP Medications
In order to be effective, PrEP medications must be taken for seven days. The medicine will need to continue being taken daily to remain effective. The tablet is recommended for all genders; as it can provide adequate protection when taken correctly.
Before starting this medication, you must take an HIV test. Having HIV may increase the likelihood of developing drug resistance when starting PrEP. This makes HIV treatment becomes less effective when drug resistance is formed. Individuals taking PrEP will need to receive check-ups and STD screening every three months.
Is PrEP a Lifetime Medication?
Unlike HIV medication,s PrEP is meant to be taken in short intervals. This can be a few weeks, months, or years, depending on your unique circumstance. For example, trying to conceive with a person you know is HIV positive or having relations with a new person. This medication can lessen the chance of catching HIV through intercourse, anal sex, or oral conditions.
Are there side effects with PrEP medication?
Some people taking PrEP medications experience minor side effects that usually disappear over time. These side effects can include dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. In rare situations, PrEP can impact kidney function. It’s essential to tell the doctor about any ongoing, persisting, or troubling side effects.
Is PrEP Medication Widely Available?
Unfortunately, PrEP medications are not available globally, even in countries where the approval has been met. A few countries offer this medication free or low-cost as part of a national health system. International guidelines recommend that PrEP be made widely available and accessible, meaning it should be an option in the future for interested individuals.
Talk to an online PrEP clinic or medical doctor if you’re interested in starting this medication. Your doctor will help ensure your overall health and wellbeing before taking a new medicine. They will also offer ongoing monitoring of the health risks. Taking the PrEP properly provides absolute protection against HIV. This includes taking the product daily and using protection until the seven days have passed.
Protecting Yourself Against HIV is Vital to Your Health
The first step in protecting yourself against HIV is admitting you’re at risk of infection. It’s important to remain honest and transparent with your family physician about your sexual health and activities. Doctors are unbiased and want to ensure the safety of their patients. Never lie to your physician about protection or barrier use. If you don’t use barrier methods (like condoms), tell the doctor so they can help assess your risk for STDS or infections.