Solent NHS Trust Sexual Health is now commissioned to provide PrEP for free to everyone who meets the eligibility criteria (see below).
We understand that anyone wishing to access PrEP is making an important decision in looking after their own health and wellbeing. Therefore, as a service we are here to support you if you have any questions about using PrEP. If you decide to access PrEP from other sources, we can provide you with safety monitoring and give you advice on usage. We will also provide routine STI testing and other Sexual Health services as part of your journey with PrEP.
What is PrEP?
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV) is a pill that protects you from HIV. It can be used by people who are HIV negative but at high risk of HIV to dramatically reduce their chance of catching HIV. It is a course of tablets that you can either take before and after sex OR take daily to cover unplanned sexual activity. All the options are fully explained below and can be discussed with a clinician when accessing your medication.
PrEP puts you in control.
‘pre’ is something you do before a risk of exposure (in this case to HIV)
‘prophylaxis’ is a treatment or action you can take to help prevent disease.
Is PrEP right for me?
PrEP is a discreet and empowering way to protect yourself from HIV.
PrEP may be suitable for you if you:
- are HIV negative
- have anal, vaginal or frontal sex in a variety of situations where condoms are not easily or always used
- want to protect yourself from HIV.
If you are HIV negative and take PrEP properly, you will have almost 100% protection against HIV.
You may be eligible for PrEP if you are within one of these categories:
1. Men and transgender women who:
- Have sex with men
- AND have had an HIV negative test during in the preceding year
- AND report condomless sex (excluding oral) in the previous 6 months
- AND are likely to continue having condomless sex (excluding oral)
2. HIV negative partners of an HIV positive person when:
- The HIV positive partner is not known to be virally suppressed (<200 copies/ml for 6 months or more)
- AND condomless sex (excluding oral) is anticipated before treatment of the HIV positive partner takes effect
3. Other HIV negative people assessed to be at high risk of HIV acquisition.
- This may include people having condomless sex (excluding oral) with partners from parts of the world where HIV is common (such as Southern Africa, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean), and commercial sex workers or their clients who report regular condomless sex.
Did you know? Nearly half of new HIV diagnoses among heterosexuals in the UK are Black African men and women – despite making up less than 2 per cent of the British population. Approximately half of Black African men and women diagnosed with HIV in the UK are thought to have acquired HIV while living in the UK.
How do i get PrEP?
If you want PrEP please call 0300 300 2016.
Is PrEP right for me?
Use the PrEP Tool to find out.
I’m HIV positive, is PrEP for me?
If you are HIV positive, PrEP is not suitable for you. You need antiretroviral treatment. Speak to your GP, sexual health service or other health professionals supporting you for advice.
Where can I get PrEP for free in Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton & Isle of Wight?
Staff in our sexual health clinics are experienced and welcoming. They can answer your questions and give you the advice you need before taking PrEP.
PrEP is provided for free as part of NHS specialist services.
If you would like to talk about getting PrEP contact us on 0300 300 2016
What should I expect before starting PrEP?
If you are eligible to be provided PrEP by us, there are some initial tests which we need to perform at your first appointment. Most importantly, this will include a test to ensure you are HIV negative before commencing PrEP.
You will have an HIV test and a kidney function blood test on the day you start PrEP or just before. You might need to repeat these tests after taking PrEP for six weeks.
As part of ongoing provision of PrEP, you will be required to take regular monitoring tests which include a full STI screening every 3 months.
If you have used a home HIV self-test you will still need to have an HIV test which is conducted in a lab.
You should also:
- get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- get vaccinated to protect yourself from hepatitis A and B and HPV (if eligible).
How do I take PrEP?
There are different ways of taking PrEP and your clinician will discuss which are suitable for you. There are four typical ways that PrEP is taken:
- Daily PrEP: you take one pill every day. This is suitable for all who require PrEP.
- ‘On Demand’ PrEP (also called event-based dosing or ‘EBD’): you take a set amount of PrEP pills before and after a planned sexual event. This is only suitable for gay and bisexual men.
- Four pills per week (also known as ‘Ts and Ss’): PrEP is taken on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday each week. This is only suitable for gay and bisexual men.
- Holiday PrEP: You take a set amount of PrEP before and after a period when you expect to be sexually active.
PrEP is most commonly taken as a daily pill.
You can find out more about PrEP by visiting a sexual health clinic in Solent. For more online information, visit:
PrEP will only protect you against HIV. Using condoms will help reduce your risk of other STIs, including Syphilis and Gonorrhoea, which are on the rise.
Regular STI testing is important, and required if we provide you with PrEP.