What is PrEP?
PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a tablet that you can take to reliably prevent HIV.
Lots of people, especially gay and bisexual men, take PrEP to prevent HIV. PrEP works similarly to HIV treatment medication by stopping the virus from making copies of itself. If you’re on PrEP, the virus can’t set up in your body, so you will stay negative even if you have sex without a condom.
The medication can be taken every day to provide constant protection from HIV. If you don’t need regular protection from HIV, you can also choose to take PrEP on demand before and after sex to give you the same level of protection.
Does PrEP work?Absolutely. PrEP has been proven effective against HIV in many large scientific studies. It only protects against HIV, not other STIs, so you will still need to be tested regularly to see if you need to take treatment to cure other infections like syphilis or chlamydia.
PrEP can have some side effects occasionally. You might have headaches or a stomach upset for a few days while your body gets used to it. Your doctor can advise you about how to manage this if it happens, or if you notice any other symptoms after starting.
How do I get PrEP in Queensland?You’ll need to visit any GP /doctor in Queensland to have an assessment and get a prescription for PrEP. They will be able to tell you all the details like how long you will need to take PrEP before you are protected and whether daily or on-demand PrEP is suitable for you.
The team at QPP aren’t doctors, but we can answer your questions about PrEP and help you get in touch with a clinic that can prescribe it for you.
If you, your partner or a friend are interested in accessing PrEP, you can print this letter and take it to your usual GP so that they can be confident that they are prescribing PrEP correctly. This letter provides information on testing, how to prescribe PrEP and where to access PrEP.
If you are not eligible for Medicare in Australia, with a valid script from an Australian doctor, it may be cheaper to import the medication into Australia than to get it from an Australian pharmacy. More details can be found on the PrEP Access Now website.
How much does PrEP cost?PrEP is available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). If you have Medicare (as of Jan 2023), it costs about $30 a month, or $7.30 a month if you have a Health Care Card from Centrelink. If you don’t have Medicare, check out PrEP Access Now who lists online pharmacies where you can buy PrEP at a low price. You can also access it through programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
A medication, if started within 72 hours, may prevent HIV after a potential exposure to the virus through sex (or injecting).
Treatment As Prevention
TasP refers to using HIV medication to dramatically reduce the chance of transmitting HIV to others.
How Is HIV Transmitted
HIV can be shared in some body fluids, like blood and semen, but not in fluids like saliva or sweat.
Our trained team is here to help you should you have any questions or need support. You can call for free from a Queensland land-line on 1800 636 241 or call (07) 3013 5555 (national). You can also email us or use the contact form or the chat function in the corner of our website.