What about other STIs and other ways of preventing HIV?


PrEP is one of many strategies we can use to prevent HIV from being passed. Just because we are using PrEP does not mean we can't use other strategies too. Other strategies include things we can do as individuals (get tested and treated for HIV and STIs), with our partners (talk about sexual health, use condoms and/or lube, get tested, support each other in taking PrEP and/or treatment for HIV and/or STIs) and things we can do as a community (providing inclusive sexual health education, and decreasing stigma towards communities most affected by HIV). PrEP works best for those of us who do not always use additional prevention options, whether they are not always available or are not realistic for us.  

PrEP does not prevent other STIs from being passed. This is one reason why as part of getting a PrEP prescription, we need to get STI tests regularly, and why we may choose to use condoms and PrEP some or all of the time. Some STIs (like syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia) are curable, and treatment is available for others STIs like herpes.

Stigma towards sex (especially anal sex), injection drug use, and communities most affected by HIV is a major barrier to all HIV prevention methods. Stigma can make it harder for us to access the information and health care we need whether we are living with HIV or if we are HIV-negative, and stigma continues to drive HIV transmission. YouthCO will continue to work to change stigmatizing attitudes that make it hard for all of us to get the health care and information we need.

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!