There are many reasons that we might want to take PrEP. We think it is important to empower community members to make informed decisions with the support of a knowledgeable medical care provider.
The chances of passing HIV depend on the type of sex we are having, and the people we have sex with. Some sex has a higher chance of passing, or picking up HIV and so it’s important to consider the realities of our sex lives and not feel pressured to take PrEP based on what our peers are doing or what we hear in the media.
PrEP is especially recommended for those of us who have:
- A history of inconsistent or no condom use for anal sex (or want to have bareback sex);
- Multiple sex partners;
- Had an STI in the last 6 months;
- One or more HIV-positive sexual partner(s) whose viral load is not undetectable, or is not on HIV treatment, or is not taking HIV medications regularly;
- Involvement in sex work;
- Had repeated courses of PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis);
Just because how we have sex may not be described above, that doesn’t mean PrEP isn’t right for us. Discussing options with a trusted medical professional, including a HIM Health Centre nurse, is the best way to help us figure out if PrEP is the right choice for us.
When considering whether PrEP is the right choice for us, it may be important to consider some of the ways that PrEP can help ease anxiety about picking up, or coming into contact with HIV.
Anxiety about HIV can have a negative effect on sex lives, our mental health and general well-being. As with all of our sexual health strategies, it’s important that we consider how taking PrEP might enrich or affect our sexual selves and general health. Talk to the doctor or nurse practitioner about these added benefits of PrEP.