It’s that time of the year again; the last rush before you can relax and spend time with your loved ones. For many, it is also party season, so we’d like to give you a few tips to get prepped for the holidays.
- It is very tempting to drink a lot when you go out. What many guys forget is that the drink you have now will only hit you in 20 min. So that the double shooter you have five minutes after you had a drink five minutes ago, will also only hit you 20 min later. This means that in 20 min, all three drinks are going to hit you at the same time. Try to pace yourself and have non-alcoholic beverages (or water) in-between.
- If you are on ARVs or PrEP, make sure that you have enough meds to last you over the period between Christmas and New Year. Throw the tablets onto a small side plate or on a surface where they won’t roll or fall off. Physically count your pills and work out till what date you will have enough.
- If you need to stock up on PrEP or ARVs, contact your provider asap BEFORE they close over the holidays.
- We know that this time of the year is crazy busy. It’s for this reason that beyond our regular open hours, Engage Men’s Health in Johannesburg (Melville) will have extended hours till 20:00 on Wednesdays and Fridays and till 17:00 on Saturdays. This is from 1 December up to 20 December. The extended hours, unfortunately, do not apply to our other two branches, but please contact Engage Men’s Health in Buffalo City (010 534 8366) and Engage Men’s Health in Nelson Mandela Bay (010 534 8428) directly to make an appointment to ensure you get your meds sorted before the holidays.
- If you are on ARVs or PrEP, stash one of your tablets in your wallet or maybe a bag you have with you all the time. Wrap the tablet in cling wrap or in a small sealable packet. This is to prevent the tablet from getting wet or damaged. If you end up hooking up with somebody or crash at a friend’s house, then you don’t need to stress because you will have your meds with you.
- Do the same with two condoms and two sachets of water-based lube. Just be careful where you keep the condoms so that they don’t get damaged. If you keep condoms on you for a long time, be sure to check their expiry date as the older condoms are, the more likely they may be to tear or break.
- Another tip is to scan your ARV or PrEP script (if that’s how you get your meds) and then email it to yourself. This will help a lot If you should urgently need to get meds in an unfamiliar place. If for example your bag gets stolen, or you lose your meds, you can go to a pharmacy and show them your scanned script on your phone. Ask them if you can buy loose tablets to carry you through till your next refill when you are back at home.
- ARVs and PrEP are super effective, but only if you take them as you should. Let’s say the time you normally take your ARVs or PrEP is 20:00. If you forget to take them at 20:00, take them the moment you remember or when you can get to your meds. Then take your meds the same as you normally would.
- If you are HIV negative and not using PrEP, and you had high-risk exposure to HIV, you need to get PEP. High-risk exposure is for example unprotected sex with somebody you don’t know, or if a condom breaks. This needs to happen within 72 hours (3 days) after the incident. You can go to any clinic, doctor or pharmacy and say you need to get PEP and they tell you what to do.
- If for some reason you get nauseous and throw up after you took your meds, here’s what to do. If you throw up within 1 hour after you take your meds, you need to retake them. (If you get sick after an hour, you will only have to take meds again the next time you are supposed to.)
For all your sexual health needs for the holidays, including free PrEP, ARVs, HIV self-testing kits, STI screening, condoms, and lube contact Engage Men’s Health on 082 607 1686 (remember, we are closed from 20 Dec 2019 to 6 Jan 2020.)