A woman living with AIDS prepares to take her daily dosage of life-saving drugs. PHOTO | FILEA woman living with AIDS prepares to take her daily dosage of life-saving drugs. PHOTO | FILE
By EVELYNE MUSAMBI

The government will soon roll out the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug meant to protect HIV-negative people from contracting the virus.

Here are ten things to know about the new drug.

1. If taken once daily, the drug can prevent HIV infection by more than 96 per cent according to pilot studies conducted in Uganda and Kenya.

2. It takes a week of taking the drug every day to build maximum protection and if not taken every day your cells lose the protection.

3. It works by strengthening the body cells not to be infected by the HIV virus.

4. It is best for persons with high risk of infection, for instance a HIV-negative person married to a HIV-positive partner and commercial sex workers.

5. It is not a cure nor a morning after pill, it’s preventive and can only work if taken every day before exposure to the virus.

6. Taking extra pills does not offer more protection, it’s even risky and could make one sick.

7. Taking it does not protect one from getting other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

8. Some people may experience stomach upset at first when they start using PrEP.

9. It works for people who are HIV-negative. Those already infected must be on full treatment.

10. First time users have to take an HIV test before embarking on its use as it works for non-infected persons.