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I want to use PrEP, but my partner doesn’t understand

You want to use PrEP but your partner is not sure. Or maybe your partner is really against the idea. Many people still don’t understand what PrEP is. One way to get your partner to understand that you want to use 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: “Oral PrEP will cause me to have health problems or is unsafe.”
You: “PrEP has been tested and used for a long time by thousands of people. It is safe and has been approved by the Government of South Africa, the WHO and governments all over the world.”

Your partner: “Oral PrEP will affect your future fertility.”
You: “PrEP does not impact future fertility and is also safe to use during pregnancy.”

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

Your partner: “Using PrEP means you have HIV because PrEP is actually ARVs.”
You: “PrEP is not for HIV treatment. It is for people who are HIV-negative to help them stay HIV free.”

Take a look at this video about a young woman whose partner finds out about her PrEP use, be sure to watch to the end, we promise a good ending!

Want to know what questions people have about PrEP? Find out here.

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