PrEP For You. PrEP For Me.

The five-year DREAMS project in Namibia, which aspires to create an AIDS-free future for girls, is led by Project HOPE Namibia and funded by PEPFAR through USAID, and aims to avert new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women ranging in ages 10-24 years old. Project HOPE Namibia is an entity of Project HOPE. For questions or comments please email: [email protected]

What is PrEP?

Prep stands for “pre-exposure prophylaxis”. PrEP is a small pill that helps HIV-negative people stay HIV-negative. PrEP can be taken at any time of day, with or without food.

How does PrEP work?

If you take PrEP daily, the presence of the medication in your blood and tissue can stop the HIV virus from establishing itself in your body.

Does it really work?

Taking PrEP as directed lowers you risk of HIV by more than 90%.

How long does PrEP take to work?

It takes about 7 days for anal sex and 21 days for receptive vaginal sex for PrEP to achieve protection levels.

PrEP vs. PEP: What’s the Difference?

PrEP is taken before you might be exposed to HIV. PEP, on the other hand, stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. PEP is taken within 72 hours after you might have been exposed to HIV.

Is PrEP the same as ART?

No. PrEP consists of some of the same kinds of medicine as ART, but PrEP protects your CD4 cells from the HIV virus if it enters your body. ART is used by people living with HIV in order to reduce the amount of HIV in their body and to keep their body strong to fight off other infections.

Is it safe? What are the side effects?

PrEP is very safe, with no side effects for 90% of users. About 10% of the people who start PrEP will have short-term, mild side effects including:

          • Softer/more frequent stools
          • Nausea
          • Decreased appetite
          • Abdominal bloating/cramping
          • Dizziness or headaches.
          • Side effects usually fade during the first month of taking PrEP. Talk to your healthcare provider if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away.

Do I need to take it every day for life?

PrEP is not taken for life, it is only taken for periods of weeks, months, or a few years when a person feels at risk for HIV.

If I want to stop, what do I have to do?

Talk to a healthcare provider. You will continue to take PrEP for 28 days after the last time you may have been exposed to HIV in order to ensure you are protected. When you feel you need PrEP again, simply go to a clinic, get an HIV test, and tell the healthcare provider you’d like to start PrEP again.

Can I take PrEP with alcohol or other medications?

PrEP can be taken with alcohol, although excess alcohol can be harmful to your health and make people forget to take the PrEP pill. You can take PrEP if you are taking other medications. PrEP will not affect other medications.

Is PrEP the only protection I need?

Even though PrEP is one important tool for protecting yourself from HIV, no method offers 100% protection. While taking your PrEP medicine, you can further reduce your chance of getting HIV by using condoms. Plus, while PrEP greatly reduces your risk for contracting HIV, it won’t protect you from other sexually transmitted infections. Together, these methods offer more complete protection.

Can I get pregnant while on PrEP?

Yes. PrEP does not prevent pregnancy. You’ll need to use a condom or other contraceptive to avoid an unintended pregnancy.

Can I still take PrEP if I am pregnant?

Yes, many studies have determined that PrEP is very safe for those using PrEP and unborn babies. In fact, PrEP protects a pregnant or breastfeeding woman and her baby.

Can I take PrEP?

You can take PrEP if you feel you are at risk of getting HIV and you are HIV-negative. Talk with your healthcare provider to determine if PrEP is right for you.

How do I know if I’m at risk for HIV?

Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if you are at risk of HIV and if PrEP is right for you.

What does it mean if my partner is taking PrEP? How can I support them?

Choosing PrEP helps keep you and your girlfriend/boyfriend HIV free. Using PrEP is a sign that you care about your relationship. With PrEP, you both know you’re taking care of each other so that you’ll have a long, healthy future together.

How can I support my partner if they are taking PrEP?

You can support them by reminding them to take their pills every day. Help them plan for transport and time away to attend their follow-up appointments. You can talk with them about how they will remember to take PrEP or go for follow-up appointments and how to continue PrEP if they’re away from home. Encourage them to continue by telling them how great they’re doing with it.

My partner is experiencing side effects and wants to stop. How can I help them?

Remind them that some people feel side effects for a few weeks after they start while their body is adjusting to the medicine. You can suggest that they take PrEP before bedtime. If symptoms are severe or do not go away, they must talk to a healthcare provider for support.

Resources in other languages spoken in Namibia:

PrEP Flyer_Afrikaans_Digital

PrEP Flyer_Eng_Digital

PrEP Flyer_Oshiwambo_Digital


Listen to our radio spots

“My girlfriend has been taking PrEP without my knowledge for the past few months. I don’t know how to take this news. Does it mean she’s HIV positive and probably cheating on me?”

“My girlfriend wants to take PrEP. I told her it’s okay but the truth is I’m angry about it.”

“So I hear PrEP is a way to keep yourself save from HIV?”

“I heard some friends talking about PrEP but I want to know, what is it?”

“I have something I need to tell you, but I don’t know where to start. When we started dating we did not get tested for HIV and that scares me. I know nothing about your sexual past.”