An outstretched hand with a Prep pill for HIV prevention
Shutterstock/Marc Bruxelle

PrEP: top facts

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is an important step towards achieving zero new HIV infections. But few people know what PrEP actually is.


  1. What is PrEP?

    PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. It’s a way for someone who is at risk of HIV infection to reduce this threat. PrEP involves taking the anti-HIV drug Truvada on a daily basis.

    If you decide to take PrEP, you will need to see a healthcare provider every three months for HIV testing, monitoring of side effects, counseling for risk reduction and to help you stick to the regime.

  2. Who should take PrEP?

    PrEP is recommended for people at high risk for HIV infection.This could be people who have multiple sexual partners, persons with frequent sexual transmitted infections or sex workers.

    Also, if you are in a relationship with someone who’s HIV-positive, PrEP could be for you. Or, if you are a man who has sex with other men or if you are unable to consistently use condoms with partners.

  3. Why take PrEP?

    With an estimated 88,620 new HIV-infections among adults in Kenya every year and no cure in sight, prevention remains extremely important. PrEP can provide a high level of protection against HIV; even more so when it is taken consistently and when it’s used in combination with condoms and other preventative methods.

  4. How does PrEP Work?

    If taken correctly, presence of the medicine in the blood has been shown to stop HIV from taking hold, spreading in the body and multiplying. If you don’t take PrEP every day, there may not be enough medicine in your blood to block the virus.

    Want to know more? Watch this video.

  5. Is PrEP Safe?

    The safety of the drug being used for PrEP – Truvada – has been established in safety trials for HIV-negative people. Some people had early side effects such as upset stomachs, loss of appetite and mild headaches, but these were minor and usually went away after the first month.

    However, should you observe any side effects while on PrEP, you need to talk to your healthcare provider.

  6. How can PrEP be used effectively?

    One pill is taken daily.

    For maximal risk reduction, it must be used with other prevention strategies, like correct and consistent use of condoms with lubricants, getting HIV testing with one’s partner, screening and treatment for STIs, as well as reducing risky sexual behaviors, if possible.

  7. Are there times that one has to stop using PrEP?

    Yes. In an ideal situation, your risk of getting HIV should become lower due to lifestyle changes. For example, if you stop engaging in transactional sex or sex with multiple partners. Another reason could be a suspected HIV infection or a medical condition that makes it unsafe to take PrEP. Serious side effects could be a cause to stop as well.


    • Taking PrEP every day is very important for it to work effectively.
    • PrEP works best when it is used in combination with other prevention methods such as condoms.
    • PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy.
    • PrEP is not a cure for HIV.

    Do you have any questions on PrEP? Ask our forum moderators, leave a question on Facebook or below.

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Recent Comments (20)

  1. So prep is to be taken for
    So prep is to be taken for how long.

    1. Hi,


      Prep is taken Daily as long as one is in at high risk exposure to HIV.

    1. (No subject)
      Hey Anita,

      You are welcome to Love Matters Africa. You can interact with us here or on our facebook page. Just search Love Matters Africa and like the page. You can ask any question on Love, Sex or Relationships and we shall be more than glad to respond to you.

    1. Thank you for the positive…

      Thank you for the positive feedback Moses and we are glad you agree! Always pleased to help! Stay safe and Happy Easter!

  2. Thank you for the educative…
    Thank you for the educative message.

    1. Thank you for the positive…

      Thank you for the positive feedback Herine and we are glad you agree! Always pleased to help! Stay safe and Happy Easter!

  3. If you had sex with infected…
    If you had sex with infected partner and then you take prep within 72 hours and may be you stop having sex with infected people is there a need to take prep on a daily basis.

    1. Hi Josephat, after sex with…

      Hi Josephat, after sex with an infected person what you are given is Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). PEP is administered within 72 hours of exposure but must be taken continuously once or twice a day (depending on the instructions), for the next 28 days. 

      1. what if i have sex with a…
        what if i have sex with a hiv infected partner and i take prep immediately after sex will i get infected too?

        1. Hi Davis, yes you will be…

          Hi Davis, yes you will be infected, you need to take PrEP at least 3 days before exposure

    2. dear joseph,PEP also makes…
      dear joseph,PEP also makes you look like an HIV patient first,which is also a problem away from death,so stay safe,use a condom

      1. Hi mutash emmanul, what do…

        Hi mutash emmanul, what do you mean by this statement, would you mind explaining?


  4. why wait for the PrEP when…
    why wait for the PrEP when you can actually stay away from situations that expose you to the virus,unless its accidental

    1. Hi Mutash, thank you so much…

      Hi Mutash, thank you so much for your input. It is better to avoid situations where we are possibly exposed to HIV but that is not always possible.

  5. Hi Nick , while on prep can…
    Hi Nick , while on prep can I have sex with a hiv negative partner without necessarily using condoms

    1. Hi there, 

      I am assuming…

      Hi there, 

      I am assuming you are on PrEP because you are at a high risk of HIV infection. To answer your question, yes, you can because when taken consistently and correctly, PrEP reduces the chances of HIV infection to near-zero. However, note that PrEP works best when it is used in combination with other prevention methods such as condoms.

      Also, remember that PrEP does not protect you from other STIs. 


  6. How much do I pay for PEP ???
    How much do I pay for PEP ???

    1. Hi Mark, 

      If you’re in…

      Hi Mark, 

      If you’re in Kenya, PEP is found in a government hospital for free. Visit your nearest government hospital to get it. 

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