HIV is caused by a virus known as a retrovirus. The combination of medications used to treat HIV is known as antiretroviral therapy (ART).
How well does PrEP work?
PrEP is very effective if taken correctly and taken daily. When PrEP is taken daily, studies have shown it can reduce the risk of getting HIV about 99% from sex and at least 74% risk reduction from injection drug users.
PrEP does not protect against other STIs, you are advised for responsible safe sex and use of barrier contraception every time when you have sex.
Is PrEP safe? Any other Side effects?
PrEP does not cause any serious life-threatening side effects. Common side effects include nausea in certain people, but the symptoms improved over time with repeat consumption of the medication.
Currently, there are no significant negative health side effects reported for people who are HIV-negative and taking PrEP for up to 5 years.
What do I expect when I see my doctor?
You will need regular visits and follow up with your doctor when you are on PrEP. Your doctor will offer you baseline blood tests to check your kidney and liver blood tests function and a baseline HIV test before starting you on PrEP. You may be offered blood tests including HIV tests 3 monthly when you are on PrEP.