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PrEP

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, PrEP for short, is a medication that can be taken by anyone who is HIV negative to lower their risk of HIV infection. PrEP is for anyone irrespective of their gender and sexuality.

Service Update

Please note PrEP appointments are now all face to face and no longer via phone.

PrEP services, including both initiation and review appointments are available to book online and this suits most of our patients. If you have tried this and have been unable to book an appointment, please check the availability in subsequent days. Appointments are generally added on a weekly basis to reflect staffing levels. This is to avoid appointment cancellation which can be very frustrating for both patients and staff. The number of patients that can be in our clinics at one time and staffing absences are still being affected by COVID. 
For PrEP initiation appointments in particular, we acknowledge that the number of appointments does not always match the number of patients who opt to commence PrEP.
Since PrEP became available in Scotland in 2017, we have adapted the service to meet the needs of those wishing PrEP. We are continuing to look at availability and access to PrEP as we recognise that this is an extremely important measure for HIV prevention.

If you need to call for an appointment 0141 211 8130 our staff are happy to help but do not have any additional appointments available.

 

Who can be prescribed PrEP?

PrEP is prescribed to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria, as assessed by a sexual health doctor.

You must be:

  • Aged 16 or over.
  • Have a confirmed HIV negative test in a sexual health clinic.
  • Able to attend for regular 3 month reviews.
  • Willing to stop taking PrEP when no longer eligible.
  • Resident in Scotland.

Plus, fulfil one or more of the following criteria: 

  • Current sexual partner, irrespective of gender, of people who are HIV positive with a detectable viral load.
  • Men who have sex with men* and transgender women with a documented bacterial rectal STI in the last 12 months.
  • Men who have sex with men* and transgender women reporting condomless penetrative anal sex with two or more partners in the last 12 months and likely to do so again in the next three months.        
  • Individuals, irrespective of gender, at an equivalent high risk of HIV acquisition, as agreed with another specialist clinician.

         *Includes transgender men

How does PrEP work?

"Pre-exposure" means before sex and "prophylaxis" means to prevent infection.

PrEP is a combination of two medicines (tenofovir disoproxil and emtricitabine) taken as one pill. It prevents HIV infection by stopping HIV genes from getting into Human DNA. PrEP needs to be taken regularly and consistently to keep the level of drug high enough to prevent infection.

How do I access PrEP at Sandyford?

If you think that PrEP might be right for you, ask at any one of our clinics and we will give you information and ask if you want to arrange a follow up appointment.

Alternatively you can book an appointment using our online booking system to come in and speak to us about starting PrEP.

What if I'm taking PrEP bought privately?

If you are taking PrEP you have bought online and would like to discuss your individual situation with our clinical team please contact us on 0141 211 8130. We are very happy to talk to you about monitoring your PrEP use and your sexual health.

Guidance on stopping PrEP safely

If your circumstances change, you may wish to stop PrEP. How to safely stop depends on how you are taking PrEP and what you are taking PrEP for.

If you are daily dosing, you should carry on taking PrEP for seven sex-free days. This includes when PrEP is being taken for vaginal/frontal protection. The exception to this is if you are a cis man* using daily PrEP for only anal sex protection (top or bottom) and no vaginal/frontal sex, when you can stop after 2 sex-free days.  

If you are using “on-demand”, 2-1-1 or event based dosing (EBD), you can stop after 2 sex-free days (i.e. after your last dose).  

If you want to ask more questions about stopping PrEP, you can do this at your appointment.  

*Cis man refers to anyone who was assigned male at birth and who still identifies as a man.

Guidance on starting or restarting PrEP safely

If you're a cis man* using PrEP for only anal sex protection (top or bottom) and no vaginal/frontal sex, you should take a double dose 2-24 hours before sex. You can then continue with either daily dosing or event based dosing.  

Everyone else should take daily doses for seven days before sex. This includes for vaginal/frontal protection.  

If you are starting PrEP again having been off it for a while and you have not had unprotected anal or vaginal/frontal sex since stopping then it's okay to start taking it again as usual using the rules above. Otherwise you should make an appointment with us before starting again.  

*Cis man refers to anyone who was assigned male at birth and who still identifies as a man

Does PrEP stop me getting other infections?

HIV PrEP only protects you from the sexual transmission of HIV. PrEP does not protect you from other sexually transmitted infections. If you use HIV PrEP without condoms you are at risk of other sexually transmitted infections like syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia.

Optimising PrEP Services

You can now read the report: "How can we best deliver HIV Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for maximum health gain?" 

This may be of interest to some of our patients who took part in the research and also others for further information regarding PrEP services in Scotland. 

Your PrEP questions answered

Find out more about PrEP on the PrEP Scotland website.

Using HIV PrEP?

Remember to check the expiry date! Especially if you stopped using PrEP for a while and restart. Remind yourself of how to safely take it by visiting: www.prep.scot.

 

Information about HIV

Find out more about HIV on NHS Inform.

Manage your sexual health online

Book, cancel & reschedule PrEP appointments online.

Please try to book an appointment online in the first instance. If you are having any issues with our online booking system, please phone 0141 211 8130.

Please ensure that you arrive at Sandyford around 10 minutes before your appointment is due to start. This is so that you can register before you attend your appointment. 

 

All the information you need about your visit to Sandyford. Before, during and after the appointment.