What is PrEP?
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is the use of anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs – the same drugs that are used by people who are HIV positive and on treatment) by someone who is HIV negative to help them avoid getting HIV.
Results in trials have been very promising. PrEP resulted in participants reducing their risk of getting HIV and without significant side effects. PrEP means taking one or two ARV drugs on a daily basis.
PrEP is not yet available on the NHS but it’s available by private prescription from some sexual health clinics.
Who should use PrEP?
PrEP is targeted at people who are at a high risk of getting HIV. This could include a sero-discordant couple (where one is HIV positive and one HIV negative) or people who have many sexual partners but find it difficult to use condoms.
If someone is considering using PrEP then they will have an HIV test done first; only people who are known to be HIV negative will be given PrEP. If someone tests HIV positive then they will not be given PrEP.
PrEP is seen as a useful additional health promotion tool to current methods like wider safer sex advice, condom use and Treatment as Prevention (TrAP)*
PrEP does not prevent onward transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The LGBT Foundation are calling on the NHS to make PrEP available as soon as possible; they are also calling for interim arrangements to be agreed now for provision of PrEP to those at the highest risk of acquiring HIV.
To sign and add your support, click here
For more information on PrEP, visit:
*Treatment as Prevention (TrAP)
- Preventing onward transmission - reducing levels of HIV in the body to an undetectable level.
- The target is to get all people who are HIV positive diagnosed and on treatment.