PrEP – Not Licence To Unprotected Sex

A public health specialist has warned against the use of
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) as licence to having unprotected sex. Brigadier
General Dr Lawson Simapuka says that even though chances of contracting HIV
are reduced by a huge margin when one is taking PrEP, precautions against
contraction of HIV should be adhered to. Dr Simapuka, who is also Texila
American University Assistant Professor of Public Health has emphasized the need
for combined preventive measures, which include PrEP, male circumcision, use of
condoms, and abstinence.

Dr Simapuka has also advised discordant couples to take extra precaution in
ensuring HIV negative partners maintain their status. He said that in the case of
discordant couples – where one is HIV positive and the other HIV negative –
consistency in taking medication is highly recommended. That means Anti-retro-
viral therapy for the HIV positive person and PrEP for the HIV negative partner.
He added that consistency in taking medication suppresses the viral load in the
blood, thereby further reducing chances of transmission of the virus to the HIV
negative partner. Dr Simapuka further called on discordant couples to seek medical
advise when they decide to have children. He said when all precautions are
adhered to, the couple can have healthy, HIV negative children. He further called
on HIV negative partners to support their HIV positive partners and ensure all
doctor’s appointments are met.

Brigadier General Simapuka has also advised people living with HIV to maintain a
healthy lifestyle by avoiding high intake of alcohol, cessation of smoking,

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maintaining a balanced diet and avoid obesity. He also insisted on the need to
completely end the stigma that still surrounds HIV.