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I’m on PrEP – how do I tell my partner?

It can be difficult to bring up that you are using PrEP with either a partner or someone else close to you. Here are some tips you can use if you want to share that you are on PrEP.

How to tell someone:

  • Use clear and simple language.
  • Stay calm and confident, even if you feel a bit nervous. 
  • Start by talking about PrEP in general without telling them you’re using it and see what they say. If they say negative things or if you feel they may harm you, you may not want to tell them you are using it.
  • Listen openly to your partner’s concerns – don’t assume you already know what they are going to say. 
  • Don’t say that it is their fault that you are using PrEP.  Instead, say it is your decision to protect yourself.

When to tell someone

  • When you will have enough time to say everything you need to say and your partner can ask questions.
  • When you are both in a comfortable and private place where no one will overhear you and where you will not be interrupted.
  • If you are worried that they may be violent or you are not sure how they will react, don’t be too far away from others so that you can get help if you need it. Or consider if you can use PrEP safely without telling them.

One way to get your partner to understand that you are using PrEP is to practice what you want to say before talking to them.

How to practice

Below, there are things your partner might say. Read those sentences. Then read our advice for a response. Repeat your response out loud and in your own words. When you do this a couple of times, the response will feel natural. You’ve got this.

Your partner: “Using PrEP means you have other partners or want to have other partners.”
You: “I’m taking PrEP because I care about our relationship. I want to be sure that I stay HIV-negative so I can care for you.”

Your partner: “Using PrEP means you don’t trust me.”
You: “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.”

Your partner: “If you’re using PrEP, then I’m protected too.”
You: “Actually, PrEP only protects the person who is taking it. If you want to be protected, you could take it too.”

Your partner: “Well now we don’t have to use condoms, let’s put those things away.”
You: “PrEP reduces the risk of HIV infection. It doesn’t protect against other STIs and it doesn’t protect against pregnancy. Let’s keep using condoms to be totally protected.”

If you’d like to practice talking about using PrEP before you have the actual conversation, send a PLS CALL ME to 083 323 1023 to talk to a trained counsellor at loveLife. They will call you back.

Want to start or go back to the quiz that will help you see which areas in your relationship need improvement? Click here!

Take a look at this video about a young woman who shares that she is using PrEP with those close to her. Be sure to watch to the end, we promise a good ending!

Click here to find your nearest clinic offering PrEP.

Do you have questions about PrEP? Click here to see common questions that others have.

Sometimes, telling loved ones that you are using PrEP is not an option. Check out this article to find out how to use PrEP without anyone else knowing.

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