Frequently Asked Questions

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PrEP is a combination of two medications combined in one pill. Co-formulated tenofovir and emtricitabine for use as HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) by people at risk of HIV infection is now recommended as standard care in clinical guidelines in Australia. PrEP is highly effective in preventing HIV when taken with high adherence daily.

PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. PrEP is a medication that is taken to prevent a user being infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

PrEP is designed for people who are at high risk of exposure and therefore high risk of infection with HIV. PrEP is for all who are high risk, and if you feel you are at risk of HIV you must not be dissuaded.

In Australia, by far the dominant group using PrEP is Men who have sex with Men, and this group is the greatest target for treatment. But sex workers, their customers, those who engage in group sex, those with HIV positive partners, injectable drug users, travellers to unsafe destinations.

PrEP is taken as one pill, once a day every day – it’s that simple. Taking PrEP daily means you are always protected from HIV no matter how much sex you’re having or when you’re having it. Daily PrEP leaves nothing to chance.

In regard to HIV, no you don’t still need to use condoms. PrEP means you are protected from HIV infection. You are still at risk of other STI’s and regular condom use is still recommended to protect from other STI’s in those having multiple partners, just like the rest of the community.

Absolutely yes! PrEP is extremely successful at preventing HIV infection. Unfortunately, no medication is perfect and there have been very few cases of HIV infection whilst someone is on PrEP. This is, however, exceedingly rare.

PrEP works so well that it is recommended all at-risk people should be on treatment.

Yes. PrEP prevents HIV infection but does not prevent any other STI’s. Indeed, with PrEP use increasing there has been a corresponding increase in the incidence of other STI’s.

Therefore, it is important that condoms continue to be used to prevent other STI’s being spread, people on PrEP continue to undergo regular full STI screening, or both. Full testing, however, is not a requirement for ongoing PrEP treatment, just a negative HIV test.

To be placed on PrEP you need a prescription from a doctor, usually a GP. The doctor must confirm you are HIV negative prior to commencing PrEP. Once this is confirmed, a script can be provided for three months of treatment, the medication purchased, and treatment started.

Then, for ongoing treatment, you must have a negative HIV test every three months before the next script is provided. This is a legislative requirement, and important as it makes sure that you remain HIV negative and that the PrEP is working.

At PrEP Health we have streamlined this process to be as easy and convenient as possible.

Customers enter their details and receive a pathology request for HIV and other STI screening. Once a negative HIV result is received, the PrEP is dispatched from our pharmacy partner and delivered to your residential address.

For ongoing prescriptions, a pathology screening is required every three months. The results are then reviewed, and ongoing prescriptions issued, and the medication delivered.

That’s it! It’s that easy and can go on and on for as long as you require.

PrEP is generally very well tolerated with most consumers suffering no side effects. However, in the short term some users do suffers nausea, headaches, and diarrhoea, which usually pass relatively quickly.

Longer term, it is possible some people have changes in liver function, kidney function, and loss of bone density.

PrEP starts working after seven days of continuous use. Therefore, it is important you continue to use condoms for seven days after commencing treatment to ensure you are protected from HIV.

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