“Have you considered taking PrEP?” asked my legendary GP Dr Cornellisse. I
felt like a high school boy as I slowly shook my head. He could tell by my reaction that I wasn’t too familiar with the subject. My days of endless promiscuity are long behind me but I’m single and ready to mingle. As an openly gay man, HIV risk is always high, depending how you play the game.
PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and it’s an HIV prevention option in the form of a pill that’s taken daily. Studies show the risk of contracting HIV was up to 92% lower for those taking the medication, against those who don’t. When taken everyday, Prep can provide a high level of protection against HIV. Combining PrEp with condoms and other prevention tools is recommended. Side effects may include mild headache, upset stomach and loss of appetite. These effects are said to clear away fairly quickly. My GP said PrEp can be pricey but there may be a cheaper alternative released soon.
Just to confuse you all, there’s also a drug called PEP or post-exposure prophylaxis. Think of PEP as the morning after pill if you think you have been exposed to HIV. You need to go to your nearest GP or hospital as soon as possible ( but no longer than 72 hours) after exposure. The medicines keep HIV from making copies of itself and spreading throughout your body. About 2 to 3 drugs are provided and must be taken everyday for 28 days. PEP is not always a guarantee that a person will not become infected with HIV so play safe kids.