How should PrEP be taken?

How should PrEP be taken imagePeople can take PrEP during times in their lives when they think they may be at risk of getting HIV – you do not need to take PrEP for the rest of your life.

You can only use PrEP if you are HIV negative.

PrEP should be taken once a day for as long as a person is at risk of HIV (or as long as is recommended by a healthcare provider). It is not effective right after the first pill is taken and should be taken every day for at least 7 days before it can be relied on as HIV prevention.

For women PrEP must be taken daily, even if you are not having sex every day. You might hear about event-based dosing which involves taking PrEP less than daily, but this has not been shown to be effective for women having vaginal sex.

If you take PrEP you will need to go to a clinic approximately every three months for check-ups and to collect a new prescription. You will need to be tested for HIV before starting, and regularly as you take PrEP.

Don’t forget condoms! PrEP does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and does not prevent pregnancy. PrEP is safe to take alongside hormonal contraception. It is also safe during pregnancy, whilst breastfeeding, or if you are trying to conceive.