Pre-exposure prophylaxis, commonly referred to as PrEP, is the method of taking preventative drugs designed to stop the onset of HIV or AIDS. Before undergoing PrEP treatment or medication it is extremely important to get tested for HIV, kidney function, and other STIs in order to make sure that preventative medicines will be effective.
Since there is still a chance that you could catch HIV and STIs while on PrEP, get tested at least every three months if you are participating in IV drug use or unprotected sex. PrEP is safe as long as you are 100 percent certain you do not have HIV. Since the HIV inhibitors in PrEP are not strong enough for full treatment, having the virus and only taking PrEP is not a safe enough option.
People involved in PrEP programs are usually at an extremely high risk of catching HIV and therefore take the drugs in order to lower their chances of coming in contact with the virus. Whether a sex worker or an IV drug user, PrEP has been known to cut the chance of you coming down with the virus by 90%. However, with all miracle cures, there are limits. That’s why you need to be entirely caught up with every and all STD, liver, and kidney tests available to you.
If you are thinking about starting PrEP treatment, consider these at home tests:
Check Your Hepatitis B Status
Hepatitis B is an extreme form of viral hepatitis that effects and attacks your liver. It is the only strain of hepatitis considered an STI. If left untreated, it could lead to irreversible liver damage, liver cancer, or cirrhosis. Luckily Hepatitis B vaccines exist and are regularly administered to people around the world. If you’ve been given the vaccine and your body has created a natural defense against the virus, then Hep B should have no impact in your PrEP treatment. If you have never been vaccinated you must be before starting PrEP. If you have an active infection, you can only take PrEP on a detailed and rigorous schedule rather than on demand.
Get Your Kidneys Tested
PrEP has been known to severely affect the function of your kidneys. Make sure to get your kidney function and health tested before taking PrEP, and also regularly after starting PrEP treatment. A good rule of thumb for testing is: Before PrEP, one month after PrEP, three months after PrEP, and every six months after that.
Testing Should Never Stop
The number one most important detail when it comes to PrEP treatment is making sure you don’t have HIV. Since PrEP isn’t entirely fooled proof and you live an active life, get tested every three months to make sure that everything is in order and you haven’t contracted the virus.
Every three months may seem like a lot, but when it comes to your sexual health it is a small price to pay. At myLAB Box we can provide you with any and all testing that you need in order to stay in line with your PrEP treatment. If you order from us, that’s one less trip to the doctor and one more test in the comfort of your own home. We also have an entire team of physicians ready to talk with you and lead you down a road towards prevention or recovery.