Is PrEP right for me?


At YouthCO, we support youth in getting access to the types of health care and medications that are right for us! We believe in providing information to youth so we can make decisions that are right for us.

There are lots of reasons why those of us who are HIV-negative may choose to take PrEP as a way to take care of ourselves, such as worrying less about sex. If we may be coming into contact with HIV through sex or sharing needles, PrEP will help prevent HIV from establishing itself inside our bodies. For those of us who want PrEP, this is a great strategy we can use when it comes to our sexual health. 

We also know that PrEP is not right for everyone, and that PrEP is not the only strategy we can use to prevent HIV. PrEP might not be right for us if we are not able to take a pill every day, and/or attend regular appointments with our doctors. We also may not want to take PrEP if we prefer prevention options that also work to prevent STIs, like condoms and regular testing. Depending on our bodies and what other health conditions we have, PrEP may not be a good fit for our bodies.

When making decisions about our health, it is important for us to use what we know about ourselves to find what works for how we live our lives. If we want to talk to someone about if PrEP is right for us, YouthCO can help! 

The Stigma Project has an online quiz available here to help us determine if we may benefit from taking PrEP based on whether we may be coming into contact with HIV. The only option for gender in this quiz is 'male' or 'female', which we know doesn't represent all the ways we can express our gender. We also know that PrEP is used by folks of all genders, although most of the research that has been done so far has been with men and women who are cisgender, and transwomen. Some research about PrEP and trans men is available too. The Stigma Project quiz are based on the guidelines developed by the Centre for Disease Control in the United States for health care providers who are considering prescribing PrEP. These guidelines are very similar to those developed in British Columbia.

YouthCO's office is located on the unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh people. Our programs take place on unceded, ancestral, and traditional territories of many Indigenous nations across what is now called BC.

YouthCO believes that all youth have the right to accessible and affirming information about our health. We also know each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, sex, sexuality, substance use, and harm reduction. For many of us, the words other people use for our bodies and their functions are not the words we use for ourselves. Throughout our website, YouthCO uses words for bodies and sex that we know will not reflect the full diversity of our communities. We have tried to, where possible, be as expansive with our language as we know how to while being as specific as possible. As youth leading the HIV movement, we too are learning about the best words for our experiences and do not do this perfectly. We invite any feedback about the language used on our website to help us move forward in the best ways for all youth in our communities!