Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a course of HIV drugs taken before sex to reduce the risk of getting HIV. It is taken as a tablet either once a day or as part of an event-based dosing regime, and research suggests that if it is taken either every day or event-based as directed, it is very effective in preventing HIV transmission.

PrEP is intended for people who are at high risk of getting HIV. This includes people with a partner who is HIV positive and not on effective treatment or those who have multiple sexual partners and find it hard to use condoms. This is different to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is taken AFTER a potential exposure to HIV.



In the UK, PrEP isn't currently available through the NHS on prescription. From 2017, Public Health England and NHS England will be conducting a PrEP Impact Trial for 10,000 people. To keep up-to-date with this trial, visit the Prepster or iwantPrEPnow websites, or the official PrEP Impact Trial website.

However, it is legal to buy a generic version of PrEP for personal use, sourced from outside of the European Union.

Before considering buying and starting to take PrEP, you must first have an HIV test to make sure you have not already got the virus. PrEP will not work as a preventative medication if you already have HIV.