PrEP and STIs


STI & PREP

Any new story about PrEP seems to prompt social media warfare. PrEPers against anti-PrEPers.

Because between politics, sport, religion and Married at First Sight, we just don’t have enough to argue about.

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Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. All that argument is just noise.

Individuals will make their own sexual health care decisions. What they need is knowledge, not argument.

PrEP is a medical miracle

One daily tablet protects against HIV around the clock. PrEP has dramatically reduced rates of HIV infection among hundreds of thousands of users worldwide.

The treatment has relieved much of the anxiety men who have sex with men felt because of HIV.

BUT… PrEP provides no protection against STIs (sexually transmissible infections). Zero, zip, zilch, nada!

There is hope that in the future it will. But for now, the only real protection against STIs comes from placing a physical barrier between yourself and the STI — a condom or dam.

PrEP & the rise of STIs

STIs were on the rise in Australia before the advent of PrEP according to research by the Kirby Institute. Here in Queensland, we see more STI notifications than ever before.

Gay men and men who have sex with men are at particular risk from STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis.

Recent research by the Burnet Institute indicates the importance of regular sexual health checks to stem that rise. The frequency of sexual health checks associated with PrEP use has seen faster diagnosis and quicker (and therefore, more effective) treatment.

Earlier diagnosis and treatment also minimise the onward transmission of the infection.

Reduce your exposure to STIs

Untreated STIs can lead to serious health problems.

Two examples.

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Untreated gonorrhoea increases the risk of HIV transmission.

Chlamydia can lead to long-term testicular infection.

So, whether you use PrEP, or not, if you enjoy an active sex life, you need to protect yourself against STIs and the associated health risks.

Condoms

condoms syphilis treatment symptons sti hiv prep

Condoms and dams dramatically reduce your exposure to infection. Nothing else offers the same level of protection.

We should never forget the role the humble condom played in reducing HIV infections world-wide.

Condoms were our main defence against HIV for many years. They play the same role with STIs.

Regular testing

Early treatment of an STI can stop complications arising and lower the impact on your general health. It also stops you passing the STI onto partners and helps stop the rise.

Regular sexual health checks are essential to protect your sexual and general health.

Book a sexual health check today. Visit your GP or Health Service or visit a Sexual Health Clinic.

www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/sex-health/services

Have the sex, you want — happy, healthy and safer sex

Use condoms and dams for anal and oral sex.

Thanks to our campaign partner: Queensland Health

For more information check out: qld.gov.au/stoptherise

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