PrEP: Your Key To Safe Sex & Prevention Of HIV!

Are you someone who has recently dipped their toes back into the dating pool, or perhaps you’re navigating the waters of a loving polyamorous relationship? No matter what your romantic landscape is, if you’re sexually active, ensuring safety and peace of mind when it comes to intimacy is absolutely important! Given that HIV-one of the most serious and life-threatening viruses can be transmitted through sexual intercourse (be it anal or oral), taking care of one’s sexual health becomes even more imperative.

Now, when it comes to practicing safe sex, using condoms may naturally come to mind. But we understand that sometimes, in the “heat of the moment,” one thing can lead to another, and keeping track of the rubber part might slip away. In such cases, where using condoms becomes a distant thought, PrEP may come across like a knight in shining armor! Want to know how? Well, read on to discover. 

Were you aware that male condoms are approximately 90-95% effective in preventing HIV spread?1 Nevertheless, there still remains a 5% window of potential risk, which could prove harmful to individuals. But fear not, there’s a silver lining – and it goes by the name of “Mistr”! 

Though, before getting into details of how –Mistr and taking PrEP may help. Allow us to explain what HIV is and how it may hinder your sexual health and endeavors. So let’s get started.

HIV- A Silent Killer!

When we mention that HIV is a silent killer, our intention is not to alarm you but rather to emphasize the importance of awareness! HIV, which stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a type of virus that stealthily targets the body’s natural defense mechanism – the immune system.2

Last year approx. 1.3 million people got infected by HIV.3

AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is caused solely by HIV, making a person susceptible to developing various infections and diseases (as a result of an extremely weakened immune system).2 It’s important to note that AIDS is an effect of HIV and cannot be spread or transmitted. On the contrary, HIV (the virus) can easily be transmitted from one person to another. HIV infection has no cure, but various drugs and medications are used to alleviate its symptoms and provide a comparatively healthier life for its patients.2,4

Symptoms Of HIV

Whenever someone contracts the virus, its initial symptoms often resemble those of common flu, which include: 

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Joint ache
  • Body rashes 

Now, these symptoms can last up to 14 days.  In some cases, the first signs or symptoms may not even surface for years after infection, making HIV really challenging to diagnose.4

It is important to note that not everyone who experiences the symptoms mentioned above has HIV. These symptoms can also be a sign of other infections or illnesses. That is why it is recommended to always practice safe sex and get tested for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) proactively.4

Once the initial set of HIV symptoms goes away, the infected person may not experience any other symptoms for a period of time. However, it is important to know that the virus is still active and is damaging the body from the inside.4

Did you know that this period of time, when the HIV infection is not apparent but is still affecting the individual, can last for up to 10 years? Although the duration varies from person to person.4

When the HIV infection progresses, and the immune system starts to get compromised then the infected individual may experience symptoms like:4,5

  • Chronic liquid-like bowel movements/ diarrhea
  • Various illness or diseases
  • Pneumonia 
  • Night sweat
  • Recurrent infections
  • Skin issues
  • Inflamed lymph nodes
  • Unhealed wounds
  • Unusual weight loss

Causes Of HIV Infection

Now that we’ve thoroughly discussed the symptoms of HIV infection, it’s time to unravel its causes. As we’ve already established, HIV is triggered by a highly potent virus. However, contrary to popular belief, it still cannot be contracted by being in proximity to an infected individual. This is because HIV resides in bodily fluids, so a transmission (spread) occurs if someone gets in contact with an infected person’s blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk, or mucus.4,6

One of the primary culprits behind HIV infections is unprotected sex, which is why using condoms during intercourse is absolutely vital. And don’t be fooled into thinking that if you’re not engaging in penetrative sex and just enjoying some oral action, you’re off the hook. Even though the chances of getting HIV infection from oral sex is low, you still need to be cautious about its risk.4

Furthermore, it’s important to note that HIV can also be transmitted through: 4

  • Sharing syringes, needles, or injections with an infected individual
  • From a mother to her baby during childbirth or through breastfeeding

HIV Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosing HIV can be tricky! It’s because symptoms of HIV can take years to develop, leaving patients clueless about the fact whether they have an infection or not. That’s why if you’re sexually active, you should proactively test for STDs, HIV, etc. 

The only way to know for sure if someone has HIV is by getting tested. There are many places where individuals can get tested, including a doctor’s office, a health clinic, or a community testing center. The test usually involves taking a small sample of blood or saliva. The results of the test are usually available within a few days.4

Even though HIV/ AIDs is not curable, there are medications/ antiretrovirals that work by disabling the virus from further populating throughout the body.4

HPV Prevention With PrEP: Your Way To Safe Sex

We’ve emphasized the importance of practicing safe sex from the get-go of this blog. But here’s a little secret for you – there’s something more you can do to proactively safeguard against HIV & that is taking PrEP! Curious to learn how it works and how Hey Mistr can assist you in accessing it? Keep reading, and we’ll spill the beans! But first, let’s learn everything about PrEP.

What Is PrEP?

PrEP, short for pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a remarkable medication designed to prevent HIV. This highly effective drug offers a host of benefits, including: 7

  • Reducing the risk of contracting HIV by a staggering 99% through sexual intercourse
  • Cutting the risk of HIV transmission by 74% when needles are reused

Now, one thing must be noted that even though PrEP prevents HIV, practicing safe sex or using condoms shouldn’t be avoided as it helps in preventing harmful STDs.7

How PrEP Works?

We all must know by now that HIV doesn’t have a cure. So, you must be wondering how PrEP helps. Well, it works by blocking the enzymes that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) needs in order to multiply and grow inside the body. In simpler terms, PrEP doesn’t get rid of the virus; rather stops its further action or growth, which can result in severe health problems.8

Who Should Consider Taking PrEP?

If we haven’t given you enough reasons to get PrEP, then taking a look at the below-mentioned points will hopefully help you better understand the value of getting one. Considering PrEP is great if you:9,10,11

Are Negative For Hiv Infection But Have A High Risk Of Contracting HIV

People who are sexually active, have multiple sexual partners, or engage in high-risk sexual behaviors should consider PrEP as it can keep their probability of contracting the infection low.

Gay Or Bisexual 

People who are gay and bisexual are thought to be most affected by HIV, as they tend to engage in unprotected anal sex more often. Therefore, if you’re someone who swings at the same time, then grabbing PrEP to keep your sexual health at the top tier should be your priority. 

Have A Partner Who Is HIV-Positive

Even though we highly advocate not to engage in sexual activities with an HIV-positive individual, we cannot stop you from spreading love. So, if you or your partner is HIV-positive and you still want to get intimate with them, then considering PrEP becomes a must! However, we would also like you to take a doctor’s advice before planning on anything, just so you can have fun while being safe.

Are Gay Or Straight Who Don’t Practice Safe Sex

PrEP prevents up to 99% of HIV transmissions. So, no matter if you’re gay or straight, practicing safe sex gets easy when you take your PrEP, as it decreases the chances of getting an HIV infection.

Recently Had/ Have A History Of STDs 

STDs can increase the risk of contracting HIV infection. That’s why considering PrEP can be helpful, especially for those who have recently recovered from an STD infection.

Engage In Sexual Intercourse With Individuals Whose Sexual/HIV History Is Unknown 

Engaging in unprotected sex is not encouraged; however, there may come a time when you may still end up doing so. For such instances, being prepared by taking PrEP can ensure your best sexual health for future endeavors and a healthy you!

Often Share Injectables Or Drugs

Abusing drugs is never okay. Anyhow, if you have a past or maybe still use drugs often, then getting PrEP can keep you away from HIV infection. 

10 FAQs-Related To PrEP

So far, we’ve discussed HIV, AIDS, what PrEP is, and how it works. We know that you may still have a lot of questions about this drug. Don’t worry! We’re here to answer them. Here are some frequently asked questions about PrEP:

Question 1. Can Pregnant And Breastfeeding Mothers Take PrEP?

As a mother, taking extra drugs can impact your baby’s growth and development. However, it’s suggested that PrEP can be taken by mothers during pregnancy. However, when it comes to taking PrEP as a nursing mother, things may not be as clear, that’s why we recommend that you consider your doctor before taking this drug. And just be double sure!11

Question 2. Does Taking PrEP Have Any Side-Effects?

Some of you may not know that every drug, whether over-the-counter or prescribed, has certain side effects. 

At Hey Mister, we care about you, and your health is our topmost priority. That’s why we believe it’s better to be honest with you! And therefore, we feel the need to share that the drug PrEP also has potential side effects, which include:12

  1. Headache
  2. Kidney problems like fatty liver
  3. Loss of appetite 
  4. Low mineral bone density
  5. Nausea & vomiting
  6. Rash

Question 3. How Effective Is PrEP?

We’re aware that this question must be throbbing inside some of you ever since you learned about PrEP on this blog. However, the answer is completely subjective! Yes, it depends on the user. If an individual follows all the suggested steps, then it’s a win-win for them. 

The effectiveness of PrEP is dependent on factors like-13,14

  1. Consistency: As suggested by studies, taking PrEP for consecutively 7 days (for anal receptive sex and 20 days of regular PrEP intake for vaginal receptive sex) is the key to unlocking its maximum potency. If someone misses it by even a day, then they may not achieve the desired protection for HIV infection. 
  2. Routine Check-Ups: An important part of taking PrEP is to take routine check-ups, now, you may wonder why is it so important. Well, it’s done to ensure that the patient receiving PrEP has stable health and has not developed any kidney disease. Routine check-ups also help in taking a close look at the individual’s HIV-related health. 
  3. 360° Approach: Getting PrEP may solve HIV-related problems, but there are other life-threatening STDs that loom around. However, if the person having regular unsafe sex takes PrEP to avoid HIV, they should get proactively tested for STDs to avoid getting infected with any other harmful disease.

Question 4. Is Blood Test Needed For PrEP?

If an individual considers taking PrEP then they may need to take an HIV blood test, which is suggested by the healthcare specialists. 

Question 5. Can PrEP Work On Someone Who Already Has HIV Infection? 

As PrEP is not a cure for HIV, one cannot take it after contracting the infection. However, for those who feel they have had a potential exposure to HIV, they can ask their doctor for PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) medication.15

Question 6. What Is The Minimum Age Limit Of Taking PrEP?

Any individual who’s 16 years or older and is HIV-negative can take PrEP medication; however, it’s advised to have a doctor’s consultation first.16

Question 7. Is PrEP Safer Than Condoms? 

PrEP and condoms both offer some protection against HIV infection. Condoms act as the first line of defense against the virus, while PrEP medication stops the infection from spreading further once it enters the body. Therefore, it would not be entirely accurate to say that one is more potent than the other.

Additionally, while PrEP can block HIV at the molecular level, it does not protect against other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).17

Question 8. Taking PrEP Protects The Baby? 

Taking PrEP can help protect both the mother and the baby during conception and pregnancy. However, it is important to get advice from a healthcare professional before making any important decisions about PrEP.18

Question 9. Will PrEP Protect Against All STDs? 

No, PrEP only provides protection against HIV and will not help in case of other STDs.

Question 10. Where Can You Get PrEP Medication? 

At Hey Mister! Simply log in to www.heymistr.com or just click here

Mistr– Your Key To Safe Sex! 

If you’re ready to make a change in your sex life by unlocking the power of PrEP’s potency, then Hey Mistr has you covered! We provide a one-stop solution for everyone who seeks an adventurous sex life or simply wants a more stable HIV protection plan. Hey Mister’s PrEP plan is super easy, and you don’t even have to leave your house. Interested in learning more? Read on!

Step 1: Health Review

Before starting your PrEP journey, our dedicated team will conduct a brief health review. During this, we will ask you a series of health-related questions. This review allows us to better understand your health needs, eventually helping in customizing our PrEP-related recommendations accordingly.

Step 2: At-Home Testing

Your health and safety are our top priorities. To ensure that you don’t currently have an active HIV infection, we provide complimentary at-home testing. The test is a needleless, painless procedure that will be done in a few minutes! Once we get your sample, our expert team will analyze it, providing you with peace of mind regarding your current HIV status.

Step 3: Doctor Consultation

Once your test results are available, a licensed doctor from our team will review them thoroughly. Your health is in capable hands, and the doctor will prescribe the appropriate medication based on the findings. Rest assured, our medical professionals will be here to guide you through every step of the process. So you don’t have to worry. 

Step 4: Free Home-Delivery

We understand the importance of accessibility when it comes to PrEP. That’s why we’re delighted to offer free delivery services for your prescribed medication. Once everything is in motion, you can expect your first shipment of PrEP medication to arrive at your doorstep. The best part? Shipping won’t cost you a dime! We believe that your journey to safe sex and HIV prevention should be as convenient as possible.

Step 5: No Paperwork

At Hey Mistr we take pride in taking care of our people to the fullest; that’s why when you choose us, we make sure that you don’t have to go through the pain of filling out long forms or applying for insurance coverage. Our focused team simultaneously will work with your insurance company and even patient assistance programs just so your needs can be met without you spending any unnecessary charges.

Step 6: Automated Follow-Ups!

If you fear that you might forget about your refills, then worry not, as we’re here to remind you at every point of your PrEP journey with us. Our prescription is renewed every 3 months diligently. So, even if you forget, we won’t let you! 

Final Take!

Hey folks! No matter your sexual preference or orientation, if you’re a believer in the magic of safe sex, then adding “Get PrEP” to your to-do list should be a top priority. PrEP is a pill that effectively prevents HIV infection. It’s safe, effective, and readily available!

Taking PrEP not only ensures your own sexual health but also plays the superhero card in safeguarding your loved ones’ well-being. We understand that taking or even considering PrEP could be a big step or change in your life, but we want you to think about the upsides—like protection against HIV!

Saying a simple “yes” to PrEP can change your life, and here at Hey Mister, we’re all about those transformative moments! So what are you waiting for? Sign up today and start penning your exciting new chapter in the book of life!

References:

  1. https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/2022-05/condomfactsheet.pdf
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/whatishiv.html 
  3. https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/fact-sheet 
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hiv-and-aids/ 
  5. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=167&contentid=hiv_hiv2_rapid_screen 
  6. https://www.tht.org.uk/hiv-and-sexual-health/about-hiv/how-hiv-transmitted 
  7. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/prep/index.html 
  8. https://dc-whi.org/what-is-prep-and-how-does-it-work/ 
  9. https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/pre-exposure-prophylaxis-prep-to-prevent-hiv-transmission 
  10. https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/aids/general/prep/faqs.htm 
  11. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep/prep-decision.html 
  12. https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/sexual-and-reproductive-health/hiv-aids/treatments/prep.html 
  13. https://naco.gov.in/sites/default/files/National_Technical_Guidelines_(Web).pdf 
  14. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/hiv-aids/prep 
  15. https://hivinfo.nih.gov/understanding-hiv/fact-sheets/post-exposure-prophylaxis-pep 
  16. https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/pre-exposure-prophylaxis-prep/who-can-and-cannot-take-pre-exposure-prophylaxis-prep/ 
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5607676/ 
  18. https://medlineplus.gov/hivprepandpep.html