Are you thinking about ways to prevent HIV? PrEP is one of the options available.
What is PrEP?
PrEP is an HIV prevention pill that is for anyone who is HIV-negative and feels they might be at risk of getting HIV. PrEP works! People who take oral PrEP everyday can lower their risk of HIV by more than 90%.
What should I know about taking PrEP?
Deciding to take PrEP is a commitment. You have to take a pill every day, for as long as you feel at risk of being infected with HIV. Try to remember to take it every day at the same time to make sure it works well.
BUT you’re also committing to being part of the generation that will end HIV by protecting yourself.
Making this decision, like any decision, is made easier by looking at all your options. That’s why we have the PrEP roadmap. It’s a quick tool to help you decide if PrEP is right for you.
Check out what these young people have to say about taking PrEP:
How do I get PrEP?
When you go to the clinic and ask for PrEP, your healthcare provider will first talk to you about your HIV status and then you will need to test. If you’re positive, you will be referred to start or maintain HIV treatment. If you are negative after your test, only then you will then be able to start PrEP.
How often do I need to take oral PrEP?
You need to take it once a day. We recommend you take it at about the same time every day, so that you don’t forget to take it. Some people use their favourite TV program, an alarm, a cell phone reminder or a daily routine like brushing your teeth, to remember to take it. You can take it within a few hours of your normal time – as long as you only take one pill a day.
What if I forget to take my PrEP?
If you forget to take oral PrEP, take it as soon as you remember but don’t take more than one pill a day! If it’s been a while since you remembered to take oral PrEP, you are no longer protected, and it would be best to go back to the clinic for an HIV test before you start taking oral PrEP again.
What other HIV prevention methods are available?
- Male medical circumcision.
- ART for partners living with HIV – also known as Treatment as Prevention (TasP).
- Treatment for STIs.
- Try to avoid excessive alcohol use or taking drugs as excessive use has been shown to increases your risk of HIV.
Choosing to take PrEP or using another method for HIV prevention is a choice you need to make to take care of your health and life.
Khanyi is a young woman from Tshwane who started PrEP and kept a daily video diary of her experience, side effects and emotional journey. Watch her video to find out what her experience was like!
Click here to find your nearest clinic offering PrEP.
Want to find out the difference between PrEP, PEP and ART? Click here