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PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is an anti-retroviral drug which prevents those who are HIV-negative from contracting the disease from HIV-positive persons. 

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Teva PrEP for HIV 200mg/245mg film-coated tablets

PrEP (Generic Truvada)

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  • Effective against HIV
  • Easy to take tablet
  • Sent from a registered pharmacy

Sure Check Self HIV Test

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  • At home screening test for HIV
  • Takes about 5 minutes to perform
  •  Blood sample from the tip of the finger.

What is HIV?

HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus which attacks the immune system, making it harder for your body to fight common infections and diseases.

The virus latches onto CD4 cells, which protect the body against germs, bacteria and other viruses. The virus replicates itself on these cells before leaving the CD4 cells to die.

Eventually, HIV kills so many of the CD4 cells in your body that your immune system stops functioning properly - though this can take up to a decade to happen. If left untreated, HIV can develop into AIDS.

HIV is not the same as AIDS. HIV is the name given to the transmittable virus, while AIDS refers to the collection of symptoms which develop when HIV is left untreated. AIDS is a non-communicable disease and cannot be passed on from one person. However, a person with AIDS can still carry and infect another person with HIV.

During the first few weeks of infection, flu-like symptoms may present for a few weeks. There may be no symptoms thereafter. The virus can also incubate in the body, making it difficult to diagnose for a couple of weeks after infection.

If you are at a higher risk of contracting the disease, regular tests should be taken to ensure you are clear of HIV.

Before taking PrEP, it is important to be tested for HIV to ensure you are not infected. You can be tested for HIV at your local GUM or sexual health clinic.

We offer two blood test kits for detecting HIV:

What is PrEP?

PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a treatment for people who are HIV-negative and are at a higher risk of contracting the disease.

Before taking PrEP, you need to check your HIV status. You can order an HIV testing kit online to test for the virus without the need to visit a GUM or sexual health clinic.

You should also regularly be tested for HIV while taking PrEP to ensure you are clear and that the drugs are working.

People at higher risk of contracting the disease include:

  • People in serodiscordant relationships, in which one partner is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative.
  • People who have unprotected anal or vaginal sex with many partners.
  • People who have been recently infected with another STD.
  • Those who used IV (injection) drugs and shared needles in the past six months.
  • Those who have unprotected sex with someone who used IV drugs in the past six months.

When taken daily, PrEP can reduce your chances of contracting HIV through sex by more than 90%. For PrEP to be most effective, it must be taken at the same time each day without missing doses.

PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis or herpes. You should use condoms consistently to protect yourself from unwanted infections.

PrEP is not a form of contraception and may not be suitable for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or plan on becoming pregnant in the near future. If you are unsure about how PrEP may affect you, talk to your healthcare provider.

PrEP is not an HIV cure. While it can prevent the virus from replicating inside the body, it does not treat those who are HIV-positive. However, it may be used alongside another treatment called PEP (Post-exposure prophylaxis), which is used to suppress HIV in those who have become infected.

PrEP is not suitable for everyone. You should request an appointment with your GP or a sexual health provider to determine whether PrEP is right for you.

How does PrEP work?

PrEP works by inhibiting an enzyme (HIV reverse transcriptase) which is needed by the virus to make copies of itself in the body. Without this enzyme, the virus cannot infect the body. However, PrEP is not always 100% effective in the prevention of HIV.

How can I buy PrEP online?

When buying PrEP online, it's important to ensure that the medication you choose contains both tenofovir and emtricitabine. If the pills contain only one of these active ingredients, they will not be effective in protecting against HIV.

You can buy FDA-approved generic PrEP online from Prescription Doctor.


Can I stop using condoms if I'm taking PrEP?

While PrEP can reduce your chances of becoming infected with HIV, it does not protect you against other sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, a missed dose of PrEP can put you at risk of contracting HIV through unprotected sex. Therefore, condoms should be considered to mitigate the risk of contracting the virus or other STDs.

However, the choice of using condoms during sex is down to you and your partner.

How long does PrEP take to work?

It typically takes seven days of daily use for the drug to become effective against HIV. To stay protected, you must take the medication daily without missing doses.

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Authored By

Dr Giuseppe

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

MPharm - Lead Pharmacist
Imran Lakhi is the superintendent pharmacist and founder at Prescription Doctor. He has been at the core of our team.

Published on: 13/09/2018

Reviewed By

Dr Giuseppe
This content has been checked for quality and accuracy by Dr. Giuseppe utilises his extensive experience in general practice to ensure the accuracy and safety of the website's content.

Reviewed on: 27/04/2023
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