Hey Fella! Dr Cris gives us the FAQs on PrEP


Four blue tablets of Truvada. A drug commonly used to prevent HIV in PrEP. FAQs on PrEP
Truvada is one of the medications commonly used for PrEP. Photo: Jeffrey Beall/Wikipedia Creative Commons.

There’s a lot of talk about PrEP these days and you may have a bunch of questions that you’re not sure who or where to ask. I’ll take you through some of the FAQs on all things PrEP!

WORDS Dr Cris Quitral

What is PrEP?

PrEP is an acronym that stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It involves HIV-negative people taking antiretroviral medication to protect them and prevent HIV infection. When used as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV infection.

You must first complete the pathology testing which screens for STIs, HIV and also checks your kidney and liver functions to make sure you are suitable to safely take the medication. Once your results are available your Hey Fella doctor will issue your prescription.

How does PrEP work?

PrEP works by stopping HIV from replicating in the body. When taken as prescribed via daily or on-demand usage it is 99% effective in preventing HIV.

PrEP contains two drugs, tenofovir disoproxil also known as “TD*” and emtricitabine also known as “FTC” (in combination known as TD*/FTC).

How effective is PrEP?

PrEP is 99% effective in stopping the transmission of HIV when used correctly.

When taken daily it takes up to 7 days before you have protection against HIV transmission – when taken on demand you only achieve protection if you follow the strict dosing schedule.

How long do I need to take PrEP for?

Although you can stop PrEP anytime it is important to realise that as soon as you stop you lose your protection against HIV.

If you are taking PrEP daily and stop taking it – it takes up to 7 days again when taken daily before you are protected against HIV.

If you are taking PrEP On Demand – you should not stop taking it until you have finished your 2-1-1 dose. Stopping PrEP on demand early means you are not protected against HIV transmission.

How long does it take for PrEP to start working?

Protection against HIV begins 7 days after you begin to start taking PrEP every day. This only applies to PrEP taken daily – for PrEP on demand, you are only protected if you follow the three-day dosing regimen of 2-1-1.

How can I get PrEP online?

Thinking about starting PrEP and want to find out how to get PrEP online? You can access PrEP online via Hey Fella.

I ran out of PrEP. What can I do?

If you are already on PrEP and have run out with no PrEP left we can help.

After requesting PrEP you will be able to message your doctor. Message them to let them know and we will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your options which may include an urgent eScript while you get your testing completed.

So if you want to access PrEP online or have any other questions, reach out to us at the Hey Fella website heyfella.com.au

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Dr Cris Quitral

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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