PrEP stands for “pre-exposure prophylaxis”. PrEP is taken before sex; “pre-exposure”. “Prophylaxis” means to prevent infection; in this case HIV. So, PrEP is used by HIV negative people to prevent them from becoming HIV positive.
Research has been done into different types of PrEP, but the only type used at the moment is tablets. In men who have sex with men (MSM) and transwomen the only tablet that should be used as PrEP is a combination pill containing both tenofovir and emtricitabine. The brand name for this is “Truvada”, but there are other generic versions available. A common generic version is called Tenvir-EM.
Tenofovir/emtricitabine is one of the most widely used medicines to treat HIV. It was approved for the treatment of HIV in 2004, and for use as PrEP in the United States in 2012.
Who would benefit from taking PrEP?
If you are HIV negative and don't always use condoms then PrEP could reduce your risk of HIV.
Certain other factors indicate that you are at a higher risk of HIV.
- A recent STI (especially rectal infection or syphilis).
- Use of PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).
- Using some recreational drugs (crystal meth, mephedrone or G) - also known as ChemSex.
Any of these mean you are likely to benefit even more from taking PrEP.
You can discuss these things with doctor or nurse at Chalmers if you are not sure – see the contact details below.
Is there anyone should not take PrEP ?
PrEP should not be used:
- By people who are HIV positive.
PrEP is usually not necessary if:
The negative person is only having sex with HIV positive partners who are on treatment with an undetectable viral load.
Can you get PrEP at Chalmers or other NHS clinics in Scotland?
PrEP is not currently provided by the NHS. Some people buy PrEP online at a cost of around £50 for each month’s supply. If you get, or intend to get your PrEP online you can have your monitoring done at our clinics. We can also give you advice on PrEP and whether it is an option for you.
UK community websites have lots of information about PrEP and how to buy it online:
We cannot state that there is absolutely no risk if you choose to buy PrEP online because the PrEP is not sourced directly from the manufacturers.
Get in touch with us if you want to speak to someone about PrEP:
Ask for an appointment at the Gay Men’s Clinic, Chalmers or attend
any of our walk-in or m-test services, or contact the ROAM Team direct
2a Chalmers St
0131 536 1070 for appointments and advice.
2a Chalmers St
0131 5361773 or 07774628227