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      PrEP (pre exposure prophylaxis), The Eddystone Trust

      What is PrEP?

      PrEP stands for PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS.

      PrEP is a combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine, which are the drugs commonly used to treat HIV. It is sometimes referred to as ‘Truvada’ and comes in tablet form.

      By taking PrEP before you could have been exposed to HIV will mean that there’s enough drug inside you to stop HIV if it got into your body. 

      How do I get it?

      You can access PrEP privately by visiting iwantprepnow.co.uk.  This site provides links to reputable pharmaceutical companies outside of the UK. All of the products listed have been tested by organisations such as PrEPSTER and the NHS  so you can be confident that the products listed are PrEP. Most sites require you to buy 3 months’ worth of medication, however please note UK Customs laws mean you may experience difficulties in receiving your order if you were to purchase more than 3 months at a time.

      Many of the sites have different price points for the medication they sell. The price of medication is affected if it is a trademark or generic brand. Cheaper medication is just as effective at preventing HIV as a more expensive version.

      The recent IMPACT trial of PrEP has now ended and sexual health clinics are beginning to provide PrEP on the NHS to those people who are  most at risk of acquiring HIV. Please contact your local sexual health clinic for information around accessing PrEP.

      If you would like advice or have any questions relating to any of the above please get in touch with our staff on 01752 254406 or by emailing info@eddystone.org.uk

      How do I take it?

      PrEP can be taken in a number of different ways, dependent on your gender identity

      It could be taken it daily as 1 tablet per day, it is advisable to keep to a set time, so that you don't forget and using a daily pill box is useful to ensure that you don't miss a dose.

      If you are cis-gendered male it is possible to take it on-demand, sometimes called ‘Event-based dosing’ where you take a double dose, 2 to 24 hours before sex and then a single dose 24 hours after the first dose and another dose 24 hours after that.

      Another option for cis-gendered men is to take medication on certain days of the week, which is also known as the ‘TTSS method’, you take one dose on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. These methods have all been shown to be very effective, although ‘On-Demand/Event-based dosing’ and ‘TTSS’ have only been studied in gay and bisexual men. 'Event-based dosing' is only advised for anal sex and you shouldn’t do it this way if you have HepB. It is recommended that trans & cis gendered women should take PrEP daily for it to be effective.

      What do I need to do to take it?

      If you are not on the Impact Trial and are thinking of taking it, it's important to speak to an advisor at the sexual health clinic first.

      There are specific tests you need to do first to ensure your body can take PrEP safely and they will be able to provide those tests. If you don't take it correctly, it may not work.

      Serious side effects are very rare, a few people experience, headaches, tiredness and nausea. In some rare cases it can affect kidney function, which is why it is important to get the pre-tests done and have regular follow-up kidney function tests whilst you are using PrEP.

      Remember PrEP is very effective in preventing HIV transmission, but it won’t protect you from all the other STIs or an unwanted pregnancy, using condoms remains the most effective method for protecting yourself against these.

      It’s important that, if you’re using PrEP, you go for regular STI screenings every three months.

      Where can I get more information?

      iBase

      iwantprepknow

      National aidsmap

      Prepster

      Call us on: 01752 254406, email us at: info@eddystone.org.uk