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What is PrEP?

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, known as PrEP for short, is a medication taken by people who are HIV negative to lower their risk of HIV infection. "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. 

Who is PrEP for?

PrEP is for people who are HIV negative and at high risk of acquiring HIV. PrEP is prescribed to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria, as assessed by a sexual health doctor. You must be all of:

  • 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, one or more of the following criteria:

  • Current sexual partners, irrespective of gender, of people who are HIV positive and with a detectable viral load.
  • Gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men including transgender men who have male sexual partners, and transgender women with a documented bacterial rectal STI in the last 12 months.
  • Gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men including transgender men who have male sexual partners, 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 highest risk of HIV acquisition, as agreed with another specialist clinician.

Download the NHS Scotland eligibility criteria flowchart (PDF) 

How do you access PrEP?

You can book, cancel or reschedule appointments at our clinics using our online booking system.

Alternatively 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. You can also phone for an appointment on 0141 211 8130. 

What if I'm already taking PrEP?

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.

How does PrEP fit in with Safer Sex?

PrEP is not a catch-all safer sex strategy, it only protects against HIV infection. You could still get other STIs like gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia. As condoms are still the best way to prevent these and other STIs we recommend that you use condoms too. As part of taking PrEP you will be asked to have regular HIV and STI tests to ensure the medication is working. This means if you're taking PrEP you will have regular opportunities to discuss your sexual health needs with health professionals.