If you're worried about your risk of HIV because your partner has HIV or because you're intimate with multiple people, talk to your doctor about the HIV prevention pill. The pill is for people at a high risk of getting HIV through sex or sharing needles. It works to prevent an HIV infection once you've been exposed. Here's more information about how the HIV prevention pill works.
You Take The Pill Daily
One of the most important things to know about the HIV prevention pill is that you have to be consistent about taking it daily. If you skip days, your risk of getting HIV increases. The pill works to keep HIV from replicating in your body and it requires a daily commitment to keep you safe. You may need to see your doctor every three months to renew your prescription, so you want to keep your appointment and set it in time so you don't run out of medication.
You Have To Be HIV Negative To Take The Drug
Another important thing to know about the HIV prevention pill is that you have to test for HIV before you can get a prescription, and you have to have a negative result. The pill doesn't treat HIV once you've tested positive. You might need to be retested by your doctor regularly to ensure you have a negative status while on the medication.
You Need To Watch For Symptoms Of HIV
HIV may not cause a positive test right away, so you'll need to keep watch for typical HIV symptoms while you take this drug. If you have night sweats, enlarged lymph nodes, muscle aches, or flu-like symptoms, let your doctor know. They might want to do additional testing or monitor your condition.
The HIV Prevention Pill Doesn't Work For Other STDs
If you're having sex with multiple partners, you'll probably want to continue using condoms so you won't get other common STDs. The HIV prevention pill doesn't prevent other sexually transmitted diseases or keep you from getting pregnant. It only targets HIV.
You Can Take The Pill While Trying To Conceive
The HIV prevention pill has been found safe to use while you're pregnant. If your partner is HIV positive, talk to your doctor about starting the pill when you're trying to conceive, throughout your pregnancy, and even when you breastfeed. The pill might protect both you and your baby as long as you take it consistently.
Your Doctor Can Prescribe The Pill
You don't need to go to a special clinic to get the HIV prevention pill, but you do need a prescription for it. Any doctor who can prescribe medications can also prescribe the HIV pill. This makes it easy and convenient to get a prescription and keep up with regular testing and refills. However, if you're dealing with a partner that has HIV and you're trying to avoid getting it, you may want support and counseling from a clinic like CAN Community Health that works with HIV-positive people.