Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is the use of medication that HIV-negative individuals take to prevent them from becoming HIV-positive.
PrEP works at preventing HIV by creating a biological barrier against HIV in your body. When you’re on PrEP, HIV cannot enter your cells and it dies off.
Deciding whether PrEP is right for you is a very personal decision and should be based upon what your potential risk for acquiring HIV is. Another consideration involves being able to adhere to taking a medication as prescribed. If you do not take PrEP as prescribed then it weakens the level of protection it can provide.
If you are taking PrEP then you should be getting tested every 3 months.
Remember, PrEP does not provide any protection against other STIs. If you decide to stop using condoms or reduce your condom use, then it is important to keep up regular sexual health testing so that if you do get an STI other than HIV you can easily have it treated.
PrEP is now recommended for anyone who is at risk of acquiring HIV, so everyone should be thinking about what their risk is and whether PrEP could be an option.
Deciding whether PrEP is right for you is a very personal decision.
Side effects have been reported by people after commencing PrEP, but these side effects vary from person to person and in their severity. Some of the more common side effects include nausea and headaches; however these usually subside within a week or so. If you experience side effects that do not resolve quickly, or are a concern to you then it is important to talk to your doctor.
Other side effects which can involve kidney function and bone density these happen very rarely. To make sure that PrEP is not having a negative impact on your kidneys and bone density you will need to see a doctor regularly to have these monitored
It is very easy to get PrEP in Australia. You will need a script from your local GP, and then you can order online from overseas or you can get it at your local pharmacy. There are differences in prices too which you may want to think about. To find out how to order from overseas and what the costs are, head to www.prepdforchange.com