The short answer is, YES!
Just take PrEP!
A revolutionary drug that we refer to as PrEP, which stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. Meaning protecting yourself before the possible to exposure to HIV. Therefore, it is important that PrEP is taken before intercourse and not after.
Diagnosed with an STD in the last 6 months?
Not in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner?
In a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner?
Gay/bisexual men who having anal sex without using a condom?
Heterosexual men/women who do not regularly use condoms?
With partners of unknown HIV status, who are at a substantial risk of HIV infection?
PrEP is your answer.
How do I get it?
PrEP can only be prescribed by genitourinary (GU) specialists and by infectious disease specialists and, will only be dispensed from a pharmacy against a prescription from these specialists.
Why cannot local general practitioners prescribe PrEP? Well mainly because before someone can be given PrEP certain blood tests need to be carried out which, only the above specialists are qualified to analyse. These tests ensure that the person interested in starting PrEP is HIV negative and to monitor other vital organ functions.
Moreover, one can get their hands-on PrEP by making an appointment at GU Clinic Mater Dei, there they will be seen by a specialist who is eligible to prescribe it. Persons who wish to start PrEP may also make an appointment with one of the specialists in a private hospital.
PrEP is made up of two active ingredients which are known as antiretroviral medications; Emtricitabine Tenofovir/ Disproxil. The medications work to prevent HIV from establishing infection inside the body by, preventing HIV from entering cells and replicating.
How is PrEP taken?
PrEP is mostly taken as a once-a-day-pill.
How long does PrEP take to start working? Research shows that PrEP needs to be taken daily for between 4 and 7 days for protective levels to be reached in the blood and the rectum. It takes longer for protective levels to be reached in the vagina and cervix. People with a vagina or a cervix may need to take PrEP on a daily basis for three weeks before it becomes effective.
While one is taking PrEP is important that the regime the specialist advises is followed. If a pill is missed PrEP loses it efficacy and therefore one may acquire HIV. Think of it like the contraceptive pill, if one misses a dose there is a risk of pregnancy.
We also cannot stress enough that taking only ONE PILL of PrEP is not enough to protect you against HIV transmission. If you need to protect yourself quickly use a condom.
PrEP DOES NOT protect against STIs and therefore we advise that despite the use of PrEP one should still wear a condom.
We are the generation that will end HIV.
Help us achieve this by protecting yourself and others.
GU Clinic Details
Contact Number – 21227981
Email – [email protected]
Monday-Friday – 7:45 – 14:00
Support on HIV is found though – HIV Malta