HIV Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an effective method of HIV prevention designed to give you protection even before an exposure has taken place.
The medication is similar to PEP but only one tablet per day is required.
Starting the medication
Patients wishing to start PrEP should attend clinic for a consultation on safety and suitability. If PrEP is deemed suitable for you we can start by performing simple kidney and liver tests as well as a preliminary HIV test (to ensure the medication is safe to commence).
PrEP is ‘loaded’ into your body for 1 week, requiring one tablet per day for one week. During this time you are not fully protected against HIV so avoidance of high risk situations is recommended. After one week you are given protection provided you continue the tablet once daily until you wish to stop.
Once the medication is fully effective in your system you will be given significant protection against HIV even if you have multiple exposures.
When to test for HIV?
We recommend you do routine testing for HIV every three months and liver/kidneys blood testing twice yearly.
It is important to note that even though PrEP is very effective, it is not 100%. Therefore practicing safe sex while on PrEP is still paramount.
How does it work?
Pre-exposure prophylaxis/PrEP works by interfering with two key areas of the HIV replication cycle. The single tablet of PEP actually contains two active ingredients and they work to halt HIV. Even if there was resistance to one active ingredient, there is the second to fall back onto.
One last thing to remember is that taking PrEP from us is entirely confidential.
For more information please contact us or visit us in clinic.