What is PrEP? How to get it, possible side effects and more

Phil Samba chats to PinkNews about PrEP

PrEP stands for Pre-exposure Prophylaxis and, put simply, is medication to prevent someone from contracting HIV.

Phil Samba is a sexual health activist working alongside Prepster and I Want PrEP Now to bust myths surrounding PrEP.

“I’ve been taking PrEP for eight months now and I’ve had no issues,” he told PinkNews.

“I never had an issue speaking to or sleeping with HIV+ men.”

—Phil Samba, sexual health activist

“What I’ve noticed is that a lot more HIV+ men feel a lot more comfortable talking to me.

“I never had an issue speaking to or sleeping with HIV+ men but they seem, I guess, more comfortable talking to me.

“They know they won’t be judged because they know I’m on PrEP.”

Watch the video below to see Phil Samba bust common myths surrounding PrEP:

Samba also co-created the Me.Him.Us. campaign – created “by and for black men” – that appeared on bus stops in London and went viral online.

“Me.Him.Us started around August and it was actually my mentor, Marc Thompson, who got me involved in it,” Samba told PinkNews.

“I’d been friends with the campaigns manager Liam Murphy for some time, so I went to regular meetings and it was there that I started getting involved in campaigning for sexual health and PrEP advocacy.

“After a while Liam asked me to be in it and then I managed to get a lot of my friends and Melli – who played my love interest in it – involved.

“It took off and it became really huge, unexpectedly.”

Phil Samba in the 'Me. Him. Us.' HIV campaign

Phil Samba in the ‘Me. Him. Us.’ campaign

Samba added that most of the reactions were positive – one criticism was that the campaign ads didn’t include an interracial couple, which he found frustrating.

“It was annoying because we always see interracial couples when it comes to health campaigns when it comes to black gay men’s sexual health, or health in general.”

How to get hold of this medication

If you are interested in taking this medication, or finding out more about it, visit I Want PrEP Now. You can also find out more information from Prepster.

Watch how the HIV self-testing kit works and how you can get one through the Terrence Higgins Trust.