Frequently asked questions concerning the study

When can I participate?

At this moment we have a sufficient number of registrations to guarantee the number of participants (200). Therefore, the period of registration has ended. Should you want more information regarding the study, this is to be found at the page ‘Participation’.

 Am I fully protected against HIV when I take PrEP during the study?

No. Research shows that PrEP is as effective against HIV infection as a condom. PrEP is only effective when you take the tablets as prescribed, and therefore no doses are missed. When you always and correctly use condoms, while taking PrEP, this would offer you the best possible protection against HIV, as well as other STIs (against which PrEP has no effect). Therefore, there is always a risk for acquiring HIV – however small and depending on your individual behavior. This risk is lower the more correctly you take the medication – meaning that no doses are missed.

Only people from Antwerp can participate?

No. Everybody who is eligible to participate can particpate in the study, also people not living in Antwerp. Please, do take notice that we expect you to visit the Institute of Tropical Medicine at least 9 times, for about an hour to an hour and a half every time. Also, please take into account the hours that visits can be scheduled (Monday 09.00h-11.00h; Tuesday 14.30h-17.30h; and Wednesday 14.00h-16.00h), although this might change during the study.

What is the duration of the study?

The entire study’s duration is 36 months in total. Individual participation will however only be 18 months.

Which steps will be taken when someone gets infected with HIV during the study?

Your HIV-status will be tested at every visit, except for the registration visit. In the rare event that you would become HIV-positive during the study, you will have many questions. Be assured that we will take all necessary steps to refer you to the best possible HIV care and immediate guidance. More detailed information can be found under information for the participant. Should you acquire HIV during the study, you will no longer continue your participation to the study. We will however still conduct all necessary tests that need to be conducted at the last study visit. Some additional test may take place.

Which steps will be taken when someone gets infected with an STI during the study?

During the study, you will receive counseling concerning your sexual health and you will be tested for HIV and STIs. Furthermore, you will receive condoms and lubricant for free. Should you acquire any STI during the study, then you will receive the necessary medication. Such additional treatments, you will have to pay yourself (whether or not reimbursed by your health insurance). For all study visits and tests concerning the study, you will not have to pay.

What are my expenses for using PrEP?

PrEP in this project is for free to all participants, as long as you participate (18 months).

How will I be compensated for participating?

All tests and procedures concerning your participation to the study are for free, also those tests during unscheduled visits. You will receive no additional compensation for you participation to the study, nor will any of the travel expenses or other expenses concerning the study visits to the HIV/STI clinic be reimbursed.

Can I give PrEP to a friend?

No. We ask that you would never give PrEP to a friend or someone else for three different reasons: PrEP can be harmful for his/her health, given he/she has not been screened; because you never know whether someone has already contracted HIV, as PrEP use in this case might create PrEP-resistant HIV (HIV medication would no longer be efficient); you are participating in a study and this would seriously affect the study results.

Who has access to my personal information?

Only a few researchers will be able to access your personal information. This information will be coded, with a unique study number, by which other researchers will never be able to identify you. Your name will nowhere be used in any report or publication regarding this research.