Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) involves HIV negative people taking antiretroviral medication to protect them and prevent HIV infection. When used as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV infection.
Unlike PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), which is taken after a potential exposure to HIV, at least the first dose of PrEP needs to be taken before a potential HIV exposure.
To take PrEP you must be HIV negative so a HIV test should always be performed before you start taking PrEP. You should also test for other STIs (sexually transmitted infections), such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, and have your kidney health assessed. Your PrEP prescriber will go through this with you at your first appointment. Following that, you’ll need to have a check-up every three months.
Importantly, while PrEP is effective at protecting you from HIV, it does not protect you from other STIs. If you are concerned about STIs, consider using other prevention methods, like condoms.
Talk to your doctor about whether PrEP is a good option for you and what’s the best way to take it.
Whether or not your choose PrEP, we can still organise STI checks for you.
Under 30s can avail themselves of free condoms at Freedom Condom.