What is PrEP and How Does it Work?

There are different ways to protect you from HIV/AIDS. The most common method is to use a condom when you have sex. This information leaflet explains an additional protection method called PrEP.

What is PrEP?
For whom is PrEP set up?
How good is
PrEP for protecting me from HIV infection? How long do I need to take PrEP to get protection from HIV infection?

PrEP have any side effects? Are there any long-term side effects? If I take PrEP , do I need to take it permanently ?
If I am planning to become pregnant, can I take 
PrEP ?
Can I take PrEP if I am taking other medicines?
How can I get PrEP?
How can I get more information about PrEP?
What is PrEP? 
PrEP is Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis ( PrEP ) abbreviation. This is a way to protect you from HIV infection by taking one tablet a day.
PrEP does not prevent other infections that you may have while having sex. Therefore, to protect you from these infections, it is still important to use condoms.

For whom is PrEP set up? 
People with high risk of contracting HIV recommend the use of PrEP .

If you belong to the following categories, you have a high risk:

  • You are a male and have anal sex with other males without using condoms all the time.
  • You have a heterosexual partner who is infected with HIV and you want a child.
  • Your partner has AIDS but does not take anti-AIDS drugs, and you don’t always use condoms.

PrEP helps reduce your concerns about HIV infection.

How good is PrEP for protecting me from HIV infection? 
If you take PrEP every day, it will work very well. You should try to take it at the same time every day.

If you don’t take this tablet every day, it may not be as effective in protecting you from HIV infection.

How long do I need to take PrEP to get protection from HIV infection? 
It depends on how you conduct your sexual behavior. If you are a male and have sex with a man, you will be protected after taking PrEP daily for 7 days. If you are a woman, you will need to take it for 20 days a day before it will be protected. Your doctor can give you more information.

Does PrEP have any side effects? 
PrEP is not a side effect for everyone, it does not have any side effects for most people.

Side effects can include nausea, dizziness, headache, fatigue, stomach cramps and diarrhea. These symptoms usually disappear after a few weeks. If the symptoms persist, you should see your doctor.

Are there any long-term side effects? 
Most people taking PrEP will not have any serious problems. However, long-term use of PrEP may affect your kidneys, so it is important to check this. For this reason, your doctor will perform a blood test every three months while you are taking PrEP.

As I was taking PrEP , whether I need to permanently take it ?
Not. As you live and become infected with the risk of HIV, you can stop and start PrEP. You should only take PrEP during periods of high risk that you may be infected with HIV.

For example: When you have a lot of different sexual partners or you are planning to have a child, you might take PrEP. When this happens, you can stop taking PrEP.

can. If you are planning to become pregnant and your partner has HIV, you can take PrEP to protect you and your baby from HIV infection.

To be protected from HIV infection, you must take PrEP daily for 20 days before you and your partner have sex with a condom. You must take PrEP daily during the period of your attempt to become pregnant and continue taking it within 30 days of your last sexual intercourse without condom use. Taking

as I was taking other drugs, I can take PrEP it? 

Can. It is usually safe to take PrEP with other medications, but you should always check with your doctor.

How can I get PrEP? 

To get PrEP, you need to see a doctor with experience in HIV to find out if PrEP is right for you.

Your doctor will ask you about your sexual life to determine if you are at high risk of contracting HIV. Your doctor will keep your personal information confidential.

If you have a high risk, your doctor will:

• Have an HIV check. If this check shows that you are infected with HIV, you should not take PrEP.
• A hepatitis B check. If you have chronic hepatitis B, you may need to see another specialist before you know if you can take PrEP.
• Kidney check (blood check) because PrEP drugs may affect the kidneys.
• Some checks to find out if you have other infections that can be obtained from sexual intercourse.

If PrEP is right for you, the doctor will prescribe a prescription and show you the various ways you can get PrEP.

How can I get more information about PrEP? 

The New South Wales Sexual Health Information Hotline is a telephone service that:

• Gives you more information about PrEP.
• Help you understand if PrEP is right for you.
• Help you find a doctor who has experience with HIV and is knowledgeable about PrEP.

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