Safe Sex

Safe Sex

PrEP-ING YOU WITH THE BASICS

If you have some knowledge of HIV, there's a chance that you've heard of this amazing little blue pill, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, aka PrEP. 

If the term 'PrEP' looks foreign to you, don't worry, we've got you covered. 

PrEP is a daily pill for people who do not have HIV, to prevent HIV. It is a publicly-funded medicine in NZ, which means that for those who meet certain criteria, it is available on prescription at local pharmacies for $5 for each three-month supply.

Not only does it reduce the risk of HIV transmission by up to 99%, it also allows you to enjoy sex with your partners knowing that you are protected from HIV.

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1. You can't contract HIV if you're taking PrEP

With up to 99% effectiveness at preventing HIV when taken daily, PrEP is your own personal bodyguard. What makes PrEP so powerful? It works by maintaining a certain level of the drug in your body which prevents the HIV virus from establishing an infection. PrEP needs to be taken daily for 7 days before providing adequate protection for receptive anal sex (being the bottom), and 20 days for insertive sex (being the top) or receptive vaginal sex.

2. If you fuck or get fucked without condoms, take PrEP

Some people struggle with condom use, and others just forget to bring them. If that sounds like you, then PrEP is your best wingman. A good wingman never leaves you out in the cold!

3. PrEP is not a 'get out of jail free' card for other STIs

PrEP is like a bulletproof vest; it protects some of your vitals but not all of them. You can still contract syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and many more. Guess what? Our trusty friend the condom is still the most effective tool to protect you against all STIs, including HIV. If you’re on PrEP it’s important to test regularly for double protection! Find FREE condoms or get a test NOW!

4. Like every other pill, PrEP has potential side effects

Everyone reacts differently to medication - some people will get side effects from taking PrEP, and some will breeze through it without noticing anything. Common side effects include diarrhea, low energy, nausea etc. Here's the other potential side effects if you want to know more!  

5. Testing is PrEP's best friend (and yours too)

There are two major testing milestones that you should aim for when you decided to go on PrEP:

1) Before you go on PrEP, get yourself tested to make sure that you are HIV negative. This is because if you use PrEP when you are already living with HIV, it can cause the virus to develop resistance and reduce your options for HIV treatment. 

2) Once you're on PrEP, don't forget to test for HIV every three months - this is to ensure that PrEP's magical power is still protecting you in case of an unforeseeable slip-up, such as forgetting to take the pill consistently. It also checks in on your kidneys, which are the organ most likely to be affected by PrEP

Get a free HIV test here.

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