PrEP & PEP Singapore: A complete overview of all your FAQs

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HIV Pre and Post Exposure Prophylaxis Singapore: Sexual Healthcare

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You must have heard about Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) HIV and Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) HIV medication, the two primary types of antiretroviral treatment utilized to protect HIV transmission.

But are you aware of the fact of what they do or how they work, and who can use them?

If you are considering that PrEP or PEP could be right for you, first consult your healthcare provider for options.

What is PrEP medication?

Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP medication can help prevent HIV infection in an individual who doesn't have HIV right now but at a very high risk of getting infected.

The PrEP method consists of taking the combo of either of the following drugs daily,

  • emtricitabine-tenofovir disoproxil (Truvada)

  • emtricitabine plus tenofovir alafenamide (Descovy)

By allowing PrEP medicine to enter your bloodstream, you can stop HIV from getting hold and infecting your entire body or the immune system.

A person who takes Truvada daily can mitigate his or her threat of getting HIV from sex by more than 90% and from injected drug usage by more than 70%, according to the latest statements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Research recommends that Descovy is equally effectual in mitigating the risk of contracting HIV from sex. However, Descovy is yet to be examined on individuals who have receptive vaginal sex.

Research states that pre exposure prophylaxis hiv is less efficient if it isn't consumed regularly. This may be because there isn’t sufficient medication within your system to prevent HIV from getting hold and spreading. Along with PrEP intake, taking steps like utilizing condoms can further mitigate your risk of HIV contraction. PrEP doesn't stop other STIs, so you'll still have to continue practicing safe sex.

What is PEP medication?

On the contrary to PrEP, post exposure prophylaxis hiv or PEP should be taken within 72 hours after you had a high risk unprotected sex with somebody likely to carry HIV.

PEP or post-exposure prophylaxis is a short-term HIV medication that must be taken soon after a possible contraction to HIV to stop the virus from mutating and destroy your immune system.

You have to take PEP medicine within 72 hours after you had a high risk unprotected sex with somebody likely to carry HIV , otherwise, it won’t be effective.

According to most Singapore STD doctors, post-exposure prophylaxis must be used only in emergencies. Unlike PrEP, PEP medicine cannot be taken in advance and not meant for daily usage by people who might be exposed to HIV frequently.

What does PrEP do to your body?

  • Pre = before.

  • Exposure = Contacted HIV

  • Prophylaxis = Preventing an infection from gaining a foothold in the body

Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP is more like an HIV prevention process where HIV-negative individual intake anti-HIV medicines before getting contracted with HIV to mitigate their risk of getting infected. The medications aid to stop HIV from spreading infection all over the body.

PrEP has been shown to mitigate the threat of HIV infection through sex for any sexual orientation as well as among people who share needles inject drugs.

It does not cover other STIs or pregnancy, and it’s not a cure for HIV.

PrEP is usually safe and most people on the PrEP report encountering no side effects, but certain side effects were seen during the clinical trials.

Participants have reported side effects that cover 4 prime categories:


9% of those who got Truvada stated to have nausea during the first month, compared with 5% of those who got a placebo. After the 1st month, no side effects were reported regarding nausea for both groups.


4.5% of participants who were given Truvada stated to encounter headaches, compared with 3.3% of those who were given the placebo.

Weight loss:

2.2% of those who were given Truvada stated to have a sudden weight loss of more than 5%, compared to 1% that were given the placebo.

A small escalation in serum creatinine:

Truvada is known to cause minor escalations in serum creatinine, a naturally happening molecule purified by the kidneys. In this study, 0.3% of those who were given Truvada encountered gentle increases in serum creatinine that carried on until the following test. Creatinine levels were seen to have a downfall once these participants stopped consuming PrEP. 4 of the 5 participants restarted PrEP without deterioration of the creatinine increase. Researchers kept track of kidney function throughout the analysis and found no threatening issues.

What does PEP do to your body?

PEP is quite efficient in preventing the spread of HIV infection if taken correctly, but even then, we cannot certify that it’s 100% effective. The sooner you begin taking PEP after a conceivable HIV exposure, the better.

While taking PEP, it’s crucial to keep following the additional HIV prevention methods, like using condoms each time you have sex, especially with a new partner and never reuse it, used needles, and works when injecting drugs.

The HIV medicines prescribed for PEP could have certain side effects in some individuals, which are treatable and aren’t life-threatening.

If you are routinely taking PEP medicine, consult with your healthcare provider if you encounter any side effect that bothers you or has become a constant issue.

PEP medicines could also interact with other medicine that the individual is taking This is called a drug interaction. For such reason, you must confess to your HIV healthcare provider about any other medicines that you take.

Who should take pre exposure prophylaxis?

Pre exposure prophylaxis Singapore has been shown to help mitigate HIV infection threat in several studies. Certain trials showed that PrEP mitigates the risk of HIV infection among gay and bisexual men and transgender women. Two bigger studies showed that PrEP also mitigates the threat of HIV infection among heterosexual men and women.

Who should take post exposure prophylaxis?

If you are considering that you can have PEP every time you indulge in unprotected sex, you got it completely wrong.

PEP must be taken only in emergencies and only if prescribed by your doctor. It is not prescribed to replace the daily use of additional HIV prevention measures.

Again, if you ever sense that you could be exposed to HIV frequently, consult with your healthcare professional regarding PrEP medicine.

How does PrEP medication work?