Update on the PrEP IMPACT Trial
Unfortunately we have filled all our spaces currently available for gay/bi men.
We do still have places available for heterosexual people assessed as being at high risk of HIV.
PrEP = Pre exposure prophylaxis
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a way of using HIV medication before sex to reduce the risk of HIV. It has been shown in studies to be highly effective.
You can check which other clinics are recruiting here.
For more information on the IMPACT trial, click here.
We also support people taking PrEP that they have purchased online. Excellent information on how to take PrEP and how to buy it online is available from I Want PrEP Now and Prepster.
It is essential to have a HIV test before starting PrEP, and to have a check-up for all STIs including HIV every three months. You should also have a blood test to check your kidney function before you start.
PEP = Post exposure prophylaxis
What is PEP?
PEP stands for Post-exposure prophylaxis. It is a 28 day course of HIV medicines that reduces the likelihood of HIV infection after you have been exposed.
Do I need PEP?
PEP can be taken when there has been a risk that you have come into contact with HIV. This can be after unprotected sex or a condom break with someone who is at high risk of having HIV. It can also be taken if you have been sharing drug injecting equipment. PEP is not necessary for everyone who has had an episode of unprotected sex - you can discuss this in more detail with our staff.
When do I take PEP?
PEP needs to be taken within 72 hours of exposure to be of any benefit, though the sooner you start the treatment the more likely it is to be effective.
Where can I get PEP?
You can obtain PEP at any GUM clinic or Accident and Emergency Department. Outside opening Hours (weekends and evenings) PEP can be obtained from the Accident and Emergency Department.
How effective is it?
Research shows that if PEP is taken correctly it can reduce the chance of HIV infection, but it is not 100% effective. Remember PEP is not a substitute for other HIV prevention measures.
What happens at the clinic?
If you think you require PEP act immediately. When you attend the clinic, let reception know that you are here about PEP so that there are no delays. Alternatively you can ring the clinic beforehand.
When you see a healthcare professional they will ask you several questions to decide if you need PEP. It is important you answer them honestly. You will need to have an HIV test done to check you don’t already have HIV.
If you are eligible for PEP you will be given a supply of medications. These drugs are the same drugs used to treat HIV, and can have side-effects. These are usually mild, but on rare occasions can be more serious. For PEP to be given the greatest chance of working, it is important that you take the drugs as prescribed without missing a dose.
PEP should be started as soon as possible. Support with taking PrEP is available in our walk-in clinics and by appointment.
||Our health advisers and psychologists are there for you if you are finding it hard to negotiate the kind of sex you want to have. Please tell us if you are worried about your relationships or your sexual life.
||If chemsex is making it difficult to set boundaries and look after your sexual health, our peer mentor is here for you.
||Regular screening for HIV and other STIs is essential for anyone taking PrEP.