Before starting PrEP, you must take an HIV test. This is because if you already have HIV, taking PrEP can be damaging to your health as it can make HIV treatment less effective.
PrEP as a pill
There are two ways to take PrEP in the pill form. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best option for you.
1. One tablet per day
- This is the most common way to take PrEP. It works best when you take PrEP at the same time each day. For PrEP to work you must not miss doses.
- You will need to take PrEP for 7 days before you are protected. During this time you should continue to use condoms.
- You should take PrEP every day for as long as you want protection.
2. Event-based (on-demand) where you take PrEP before and after planned sex
- This option would work for you if you are able to plan for sex at least two hours in advance or you can delay having sex for at least two hours.
- There are different types of event-based PrEP depending on your pattern of sexual activity, so make sure you talk this option through with a health provider.
PrEP as an injection
- Injectable PrEP is a form of PrEP that can be injected by a trained healthcare provider.
- To get full protection from HIV you will need to have two injections one month apart followed by an injection every other month.
- Many people may find this easier than taking a daily pill.
Currently injectable PrEP is only available in the United States. But the World Health Organization now recommends injectable PrEP is offered to people at substantial risk of HIV. It will take some time until injectable PrEP is more widely available.