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PrEP
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Buy PrEP online.

PrEP is an antiviral tablet that helps to prevent HIV. You can take it if you’re at increased risk of becoming infected with the virus. 

Get expert advice on PrEP, and find out if it’s right for you. Take our consultation and order PrEP online.

Here’s what's included in the price:
Consultation
Answer a few questions about your health so we can get to know you better.
Free 24h delivery
Your treatment delivered in secure packaging, the very next day.
Aftercare
We’ll check in with you regularly to see how your treatment is going.
This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.
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    PrEP: Here's what we've got.
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    Generic PrEP

    Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Disproxil

    Non-branded version of Truvada. Tablet you can take in different ways to lower your risk of HIV.

    • Starting from £4.44

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    Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a doctor.

    What is PrEP?

    PrEP (short for pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a type of antiviral treatment that helps to protect you from getting HIV. It’s specifically for people who have an increased risk of getting HIV. So for example, if your sexual partner is HIV positive, you may benefit from taking PrEP daily in addition to using a condom.

    With PrEP, you can also do what’s called ‘event-based dosing’. For example, if you’re going on holiday and likely to be having sex with casual partners, there’s a way you can take it called ‘holiday PrEP’ or ‘on-demand PrEP’, where you take it for a short period of time to increase your protection.

    PrEP is available as a branded tablet (Truvada) and as a generic pill (Emtricitabine/Tenofovir disoproxil, or Generic PrEP). The way they work should be the same, but the way the tablet looks and the company that makes them are different. Generic PrEP also tends to be much cheaper.

    How does PrEP work?

    PrEP contains two active ingredients: emtricitabine and tenofovir. In short, these drugs stop the virus from making an enzyme it needs to replicate itself. When HIV is transmitted from one person to another, there’s an ‘incubation period’ where these viral cells convert their own genetic material from RNA into DNA. This is the process that the medicines in PrEP interfere with, to stop the virus from developing.

    Who should take PrEP?

    PrEP is recommended if you’re HIV negative but experience situations where you’re at high risk of contracting HIV. 

    PrEP may help you if:

    • Your partner has a detectable viral load of HIV
    • You’re planning on having unprotected sex with casual partners
    • You’re having sex with someone with an unknown HIV status
    • You share needles or injection equipment with other people.

    But if you’re HIV positive, you shouldn’t take PrEP, because the dose isn’t high enough to suppress the virus. The treatment for this is very similar to PrEP, but the dose and the way you take it is different.

    How effective is PrEP?

    Clinical studies have found that taking PrEP can reduce the risk of HIV infection by 86% . Taken daily, it’s been estimated to be 88-90% effective, if not higher .

    If you take it every day, it takes seven days for PrEP to become fully effective at preventing HIV transmission through anal sex. If you’re a woman taking it for vaginal sex, it takes 21 days.

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    Medically reviewed by
    Dr Daniel Atkinson
    GP Clinical Lead
    on August 02, 2022.
    Meet Daniel
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    This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

    How we source info.

    When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognised analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.

    How should I take PrEP?

    There are four different ways to take PrEP. The way you take it will largely depend on how and when you plan to have unprotected sex.

    Daily use is the most effective, but isn’t the only way of taking it. If you’re not having sex regularly, taking it in another way that means you take less tablets can still be effective, and ultimately save you money. If you’re not sure what the best way to take it is, let us know, and we’ll give you the advice you need.

    If you’re taking PrEP over a long period, you’ll also need to get tested regularly to make sure you don’t have HIV. This is a blood test usually done every three months. 

    Daily use

    Like the name suggests, daily use of PrEP is where you take one pill every day at the same time. It’s suitable for you if you’re having anal or vaginal sex. Your protection starts after seven days of taking it like this. It’s a good way to protect yourself if you’re having sex regularly with an infected person.

    T’s and S’s

    T’s and S’s is where you take PrEP on specific days of the week: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s only suitable for anal sex and is a good form of protection if you have sex once or twice a month.

    If you’re doing daily use or T’s and S’s, you should take your pill at the same time every day.

    On-demand

    Also called ‘event-based dosing’, on-demand is where you take:

    • two pills 2-24 hours before you plan to have unprotected sex
    • one pill 24 hours later
    • and continuing to take one pill every 24 hours until you go two days without having sex.

    It’s helpful if you know you’re having unprotected sex 24 hours in advance, but is only suitable for you if you’re having anal sex.

    7-7-7

    The 7-7-7 method, sometimes called ‘holiday PrEP’, is for when you plan to have sex multiple times, with multiple partners, within a short space of time. You’ll take one tablet a day for:

    seven days before you ‘go on holiday’ (or your period of having sex starts)
    every day during your holiday (your period of having sex)
    and for seven days after your holiday (after your period of having sex finishes)

    So the 7-7-7 name is based on your holiday lasting seven days, but it may be longer or shorter than this. It’s suitable for both vaginal and anal sex.

    Can you take PrEP if you are HIV positive?

    You shouldn’t take PrEP if you’re HIV positive, because it won’t help to suppress the virus in your body. To do this, the dose needs to be stronger. In fact, if you take PrEP but are HIV positive, it could make the drug less effective overall, because the dose is at a size where the virus can learn how to become resistant to it.

    So if you’re HIV positive, you should speak to your GP or sexual health clinic about getting the treatment that’s right for you.

    What medications are there for PrEP?

    There are two PrEP medications available: Truvada and Emtricitabine/Tenofovir disoproxil (or ‘Generic PrEP’). Both tablets contain the same active ingredients and work in the same way. But the packing may look different and the other ingredients in the tablet, beside the active ingredient, may be different as well. Because it’s not a name brand, Generic PrEP is usually cheaper than Truvada. 

     

    Is there a ‘best’ PrEP treatment?

    Both treatments for PrEP contain the same drug, but one is a name brand and the other is generic. So the choice is down to whether you prefer branded or generic treatments. Generic PrEP tends to be a bit more easily available than Truvada, and is normally cheaper.

    The best way to take PrEP depends on how you have sex, and how often. We can help you decide the best way to take it, taking your personal circumstances into account.

    FAQ: PrEP

    Have something specific you want to know? Search our info below, or ask our experts a question if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

    Are there different types of PrEP?

    Answer:
    There’s only one drug for PrEP: Emtricitabine/Tenofovir disoproxil. It’s available as a branded tablet called Truvada, or a generic tablet. There are different ways of taking it through, such as ‘Daily use’, ‘On-demand’ or ‘7-7-7’. How you take it depends on how often you’re having sex, and if you’re having vaginal or anal sex.

    Can you get side effects from PrEP?

    Answer:
    Like all medicines, PrEP can cause some side effects. One serious but rare side effect is lactic acidosis. This is when excess lactic acid builds up in the blood. It is more common in women and the risks are higher if you’re overweight. 

    Symptoms of lactic acidosis include:

    • deep rapid breathing

    • feeling sick

    • being sick

    • stomach pain

    • drowsiness 


    Contact a doctor immediately if you think you may have lactic acidosis. 

    More common side effects of PrEP include:

    • tiredness

    • stomach pain

    • diarrhoea

    • headache

    • rash

    • difficulty falling asleep.


    If you take PrEP and get side effects, let us know. We can go through your dosing options and discuss alternatives with you.

    Can I get PrEP over the counter?

    Answer:
    PrEP is only available on prescription. Before you take PrEP, you’ll also need to be sure that you’re HIV negative, and the only way to do this is by taking a test. There are a few different ways of taking PrEP, so talking to our doctor first helps you to know the best way to take it according to your needs.

    Does PrEP always work?

    Answer:
    PrEP is very effective at preventing HIV transmission. Estimates of just how effective vary, and can depend on the test group: some studies have said that it reduces risk of transmission by 86%, others 90%

    The most effective way to take it is every day. But for some people, taking it every day might not be necessary: especially if they only plan to have sex on a semi-regular basis.

    Why should I buy PrEP online with Treated?

    Answer:
    Our experts can help you get the right dosing for PrEP, based on your own particular needs. We’ll help you get PrEP as regularly as you need it, and get in touch with you regularly to check  that your treatment plan is working for you. And if there’s anything you want to ask or need help with, our clinicians are here for you.
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