PrEP is one of the most effective and modern ways to prevent HIV infection. Above all, it is needed by gay and other MSM, as well as transgender people, who do not use condoms during sex. A failure to use condoms may be linked to a lack of condoms, the desire to have more pleasure during sex, or to the inability to use condoms.
If at least one of the statements below is true for you, you may want to consider using PrEP:
● In the last 6 months, you had anal sex without a condom when you were the receptive (“passive”) partner, and the “active” partner was an HIV-positive person, or one whose HIV status is unknown to you. Yes/no?
● You consume alcohol or drugs to make it easier to meet and communicate with others, and/or because you try to get more pleasure during sex. Yes/no?
● In the last year, you were diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections. For example, chlamydia, syphilis, rectal gonorrhea (gonorrhea in the anus), or genital herpes. Yes/no?
● You do not have HIV, but your regular sexual partner is HIV positive. Yes/no?
● You have an open relationship and you are not sure about your partner’s HIV status. Yes/no?
PrEP is effective, but not for everyone. You should not take PrEP if:
● You do not know your HIV status or you are HIV-positive. PrEP is meant for prevention only, and does not help people who are living with HIV. HIV-positive people need full-scale antiretroviral therapy, which includes several drugs, and Truvada is just one of them.
● You have recently had or now have symptoms resembling a cold/flu. Often such symptoms occur in the first weeks after HIV infection, when simple tests do not yet show the presence of infection. You need to take an HIV test in a clinic in order to ensure that you do not have HIV, and only then begin taking PrEP.
● If you are not sure that you can adhere to the regimen of the prophylaxis drug. Talk to an adherence counselor to understand what to do and how to use PrEP correctly and with maximum efficiency.
● If you have kidney problems. Consult with a doctor and take the necessary simple tests (creatinine level) to ensure that your kidneys are functioning well.