Who needs PrEP?
- Is HIV negative.
- Has sex in a variety of situations where condoms are not easily or always used.
- Wants to protect themselves from HIV.
If you are HIV negative and take PrEP properly, you will have almost 100% protection against HIV.
If you are HIV positive, PrEP is not suitable for you. You need antiretroviral treatment.
Free PrEP on the NHS
- PrEP is provided for free as part of NHS specialist services in all level three sexual health clinics in England, Scotland and Wales.
- In Northern Ireland all GUM clinics offer initial consultation and assessment appointments. Eligible individuals will be referred to a centralised service in Belfast or Derry/Londonderry.
Before starting PrEP
You must be HIV negative.
Ideally, you should visit a sexual health clinic and have a HIV test and a kidney function blood test on the day you start PrEP or just before. You might need to repeat these tests after taking PrEP for 6 weeks.
If you have used a home HIV self-test, you will still need to have an HIV test which is conducted in a lab.
You should also:
How do I buy PrEP
If you cannot access free or subsidised PrEP from a health service you can buy it privately.
It’s still important to have your baseline blood tests for HIV and kidney function and to have regular HIV and STI monitoring every 3 months.
There are different options available to you depending on where you are located. If ordering PrEP online from ‘overseas sellers’ remember:
How do I take PrEP
- Daily PrEP. You take 1 pill every day.
- ‘On Demand’ PrEP, also called event based dosing (EBD). You take a set amount of PrEP pills before and after a planned sexual event.
- 4 pills per week. You might hear this called ‘Ts and Ss’, which refers to Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
- Holiday PrEP. You take a set amount of PrEP before and after a period when you expect to be sexually active.
Daily PrEP is the option that has been tested most in trials.
How you take PrEP is your choice.