In short, no. Whether you’re single, in a couple, throuple, or other kind of relationship, PrEP can be the right tool for you to prevent HIV.
There are infinite reasons why somebody may choose to be on PrEP. And so we explore the subject with some valentines tips from Freddie about PrEP and relationships 💕
Is PrEP just a hook-up drug?
Not at all! Although many take PrEP because they like to hook-up, many also choose it for different reasons, such as injection drug use, open relationships, relationships with multiple partners, sex work, etc.
In general terms, as long as you’re at higher HIV risk - whatever your relationship status might be - you can consider PrEP as an HIV prevention tool.
Why would a couple choose to be on PrEP?
There are many reasons why couples may consider PrEP. Here are some common ones!
- Some couples may be open. That is, have partners outside - or in addition to their primary partner
- People’s relationships may include more than one primary partner - commonly referred to as polyamory
- Some in situations of intimate partner violence may consider PrEP for their sexual wellness
- Relationships can go through phases of experimentation and change, where involved partners may decide to alter their sexual behaviour in some way
- PrEP can also prevent HIV for people who inject drugs, many of whom are in relationships
- Someone’s partner(s) may be HIV positive and not know about it, or have transmissible HIV
Should I get off PrEP when starting a relationship?
It depends on your relationship. There are many beautiful paths that relationships can take, all of which require honest communication and partnership. When deciding to start a relationship, you may want to chat with your partner(s) about what you expect from them in terms of your sex life.
Do you want to be open? Have more than one partner? Be exclusive? All ways to love are good ways to love, when they’re consensual and honest. Until you build trust in a relationship, it’s important to ensure you’re taking the right steps to prevent HIV for yourself.
So, whether or not you decide to stop PrEP when starting a relationship ultimately depends on your HIV risk. If a relationship means that you still require additional HIV prevention such as PrEP, then it’s worth it to consider staying on PrEP.
If, however, your relationship means that you’re no longer at higher HIV risk, then you may want to have a chat with your provider about stopping PrEP. Your provider will help you safely transition off.
We hope this helped you best understand how to negotiate PrEP and relationships! If you want to discuss if PrEP is for you, feel free to book a free consultation with one of our inclusive providers.