Can I take PrEP for one night only?
No. You need to start daily dosing of PrEP in advance with 7 days for men and 20 days for women before unsafe sex. During this period, use other protective precautions such as condoms, non-penetrative sex or abstinence. It is very important to take PrEP every day for 28 days after the last unprotected sexual encounter to remain protected from HIV.
Can I use PrEP and contraception together?
Yes. PrEP can be taken with any kind of contraception.
If I take PrEP, can I stop using condoms when I have sex?
PrEP is an extra HIV prevention option and, where possible, should be used in combination with condoms. Using condoms consistently is still the best way to prevent HIV infection. Condoms protect against STIs and pregnancy, when used correctly and consistently.
What happens if you take PrEP and you are HIV-positive?
PrEP should not be used as HIV treatment. People living with HIV need a combination of ARVs for treatment, given by the healthcare provider, according to their needs.
Does PrEP have side effects?
Some people may experience mild side effects when they start PrEP. The most common side effects include: nausea, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, depression, abnormal dreams, vomiting, rash, problems sleeping, changes in appetite. If you are taking PrEP, inform your Pharmacist about any side effects.
In most people, these side effects go away after a few weeks.
What happens if I miss a pill?
If you miss a pill, take it as soon as you remember, and continue to take daily, as before. PrEP requires strict adherence to daily medication and regular HIV testing. Where possible, it should be used together with other HIV prevention methods. If it is used properly, PrEP will play a role in helping to reduce the number of new HIV infections in South Africa.