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Protective Treatment Before Risky Encounter (PreP)

PreP is a protection way for people who do not have HIV but have behaviors that increase the possibility of their encounter with HIV, and take one of the medications used in HIV treatment on a regular basis.

When someone encounters HIV, PreP keeps the virus from self-reproduction by clinging to the cells, and protects the person against HIV infection.

When using PreP, regular medication intake as per your doctor’s recommendation is crucial. However, an alternative method exists for those who have scheduled intercourses. According to this alternative method, taking a double dose (2 pills) 2-24 hours before the intercourse, and one dose (1 pill) after the intercourse, and one dose 48 hours after the intercourse would suffice.

Researches show that while it doesn’t guarantee 100% protection, PreP is highly protective. But irregular medication intake results in losing its protectiveness. As is the case with people living with HIV, regular treatment is highly recommended. The fact that HIV might be medicine resistant and that PreP might fail when encountered a virus that is resistant to the used medication should also be considered.

You should also remember that PreP can only protect you against HIV. It doesn’t provide protection against gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis and unplanned pregnancy.

Adoption of PreP throughout one’s life is not recommended. It should only be used when HIV transmission is more risky.

PreP must absolutely be used under a doctor’s care, and during the treatment you must have regular physical examinations every three months, as is the case with people living with HIV.

And remember, all health care authorities agree that the most effective, cheapest and healthiest protection method in prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections is using a condom.

In Turkey, PreP treatment is not covered by health coverage. Even if prescribed by a doctor, the medication can only be obtained for its fee.

*Information in this section is compiled from Disease Control and Prevention Center and NAM Publications.