Understanding PrEP: Knowledge Is Power For Health & Relationships

April 15, 2024

Have You Heard About PrEP?

Sexual health is often still considered a taboo topic. However, this aspect of an individual’s overall well-being is crucial and should not be brushed under the rug. In particular, those who are sexually active or planning to engage in sexual activity should prioritize learning about the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and how the virus is transmitted. Every individual should also know about prevention methods such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to stay safe. Understanding the drug’s effectiveness, potential side effects, and recommended dosage is important for people who plan to use PrEP while engaging in sexual activity.

What is PrEP?

Pre-exposure prophylaxis is a medication taken by individuals who are at a high risk of contracting HIV. The medication works by preventing the replication of the HIV in the body. PrEP also blocks specific enzymes the virus needs to spread in the body, effectively reducing the risk of infection. By taking PrEP consistently, the chances of becoming infected with the virus decrease significantly. PrEP is considered an essential tool in the fight against HIV and has been proven to be highly effective when taken as prescribed. However, this medicine is not a substitute for other preventive measures, such as using condoms or practicing safe sex.

Who can benefit from PrEP?

People who are at substantial risk of contracting HIV can benefit from using PrEP. This includes individuals who engage in high-risk sexual behaviors such as inconsistent condom use, having multiple sexual partners, or using drugs during sexual activity. Men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID), and uninfected individuals in a serodiscordant partnership are also at increased risk. Individuals who have been recently diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or have a history of acquiring STIs may also benefit from using PrEP as recommended by a doctor.

Potential side effects

Like any medication, PrEP can cause potential side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, headache, and fatigue. These side effects are generally mild and temporary and typically subside after a few weeks of starting the medication. In rare cases, PrEP can cause more severe side effects, such as kidney problems or changes in bone density. Regular monitoring and follow-up visits with a healthcare provider are essential for individuals taking PrEP for any indication.

How PrEP helps health and relationships

While there have been strides in eradicating HIV, there is still a high risk of infection in many areas of society. Understanding the risks can help individuals take action to support overall health. With PrEP, taking the medication at the right time and the correct dosage can significantly reduce the risk of infection. Consistent medication use can also translate into improved relationships. Partners can discuss the benefits of the drug and ensure adherence for maximum protection. Some users may even become advocates for PrEP, helping family members and the larger community stay safe by sharing experiences.

Get prepped on PrEP

When taken consistently and as prescribed, PrEP is a highly effective tool in preventing HIV transmission. A consultation with a healthcare provider is essential to obtain a prescription for the medication. The doctor will assess the individual’s risk factors, conduct necessary tests, and provide personalized recommendations based on the patient’s medical history. The healthcare provider will also monitor the individual’s response to PrEP and address any concerns or side effects that may arise. Seek out information on how this drug, combined with other positive behaviors, can be a game-changer in the fight against HIV. Knowledge is power, and safe sex is the goal.


“Since becoming a patient with HSNT, I feel seen, cared for, and more informed than I’ve ever been.”  –  Jordan Grahmann

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