Why is STI testing during prep treatment important?

A man staring at the camera. In front of him on the table is a bottle of prep-pills.

Based on the results of surveys conducted in Hivpoint’s Prevent– Test– Treat – Enjoy campaign in 2021 and 2022, some of the basics related to prep were well known: prep, when used correctly, effectively protects against HIV infection, but not against other sexually transmitted infections. However, regular follow-up with tests related to prep medication was significantly less well known based on the survey. 

With the increase in the use of prep, there is likely to be more sex without a condom and for this reason it is important to get tested for STIs regurarly. Only this way can possible STIs be detected and treated. The trimonthly testing for STIs associated with prep medication ensures the discovery of asymptomatic infections, and treating the infections prevents further infection with sexual partners. In addition to finding possible asymptomatic infections in tests every three months, it is important to get tested whenever there are symptoms of sexually transmitted infections.

The monitoring included in the use of prep medication aims to ensure the functionality of the treatment. Engagement to follow-ups is also a prerequisite for receiving medication: a follow-up prescription for a new course of medication is only available when you undergo the tests included in the follow-up every three months.

Laboratory tests related to prep monitoring include:

  • HIV
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Hepatitis A (at the beginning of treatment)
  • Hepatitis B (at the beginning of treatment)
  • Hepatitis C (at the beginning of treatment and then later if necessary)
  • Creatinine (kidney function test)

Are you interested in starting prep-treatment and want to discuss it with a professional? Book an appointment to prep-counselling at Hivpoint!