PrEP, or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, is a medication that, when taken daily, can protect you from getting HIV.
PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a type of medication called Truvada that is already used in Australia to treat HIV. Truvada has been shown to be extremely effective as PrEP at reducing HIV transmission.
How do I get a PrEP prescription?
Click here for the full list of services that provide PrEP prescriptions.
PrEP now on the PBS
You can now attend any pharmacy with your PrEP script to purchase PrEP. This does require Medicare. It may also takes 1-2 days for the pharmacy to stock the medication. For most people, PBS cost will be $39.50/month. For people with a concession card, PBS cost will be $6.40/month. While any GP can prescribe PrEP, many may be unfamiliar with it or not confident prescribing. This is a list of doctors and services that we know are confident prescribing PrEP. If you see a doctor who is unfamiliar, they can access information about prescribing PrEP from the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM).
How often do I take PrEP?
Adherence (how often you take your meds), is a massive factor in how effective the pill is. The current recommendation is to take PrEP daily – any less and you may not be protected.
Are there side-effects? I’ve heard there’s side effects!
Tenofovir, one of the drugs used in Truvada, has been linked to a number of common temporary side effects including vomiting and diarrhoea and in rare cases acute kidney damage. Getting a prescription from a doctor that is knowledgeable about PrEP is paramount in ensuring you are provided with the right precautions, maintain a steady supply of Truvada and undergo important monitoring for kidney dysfunction. If you are HIV positive without knowing, and were to commence PrEP assuming you were negative, you run the risk of developing resistance to drugs used in Truvada which could limit your HIV treatment options. This is why HIV testing prior to commencing PrEP is so important.
What about other STIs?
While PrEP is effective against HIV, it does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis. Condoms remain an effective way of reducing your risk of acquiring STIs, and are also recommended to be used in conjunction with PrEP to achieve the highest protection against HIV infection. If you are taking PrEP, it is recommended that have a sexual health screen every three months.
If you think PrEP would work for you, it’s easier to get than you think, and doesn’t cost as much as you would expect.
PrEP Access Now: https://www.prep.global/get-prep
PrEP'd For Change: Public facebook page