Taking PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of getting HIV, so GAY TIMES worked with London’s leading sexual health clinic, 56 Dean Street, to answer some of its most frequently asked questions about the drug.

When taken properly, PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99%.

Most people take it orally in the form of a tablet, either regularly (one a day) or ‘event-based’ (two tablets two to 24 hours before sex, then one 24 hours after sex and a further one 48 hours after).

It has been free on the NHS in England since 2020, though a recent report from Terrence Higgins Trust showed that many still face barriers in accessing it.

Ian Green, CEO of the charity, previously said the drug plays an “absolutely crucial part in ending new HIV cases by 2030” – a goal set out by the government on World AIDS Day in 2021.

As part of PrEP Awareness week, which takes place from 28 November to 4 December, 56 Dean Street answered its five most commonly asked questions about the tablet:

  • Do I still need to test for HIV if I’m on PrEP?
  • Are the side effects of PrEP very severe?
  • Do I need to stop taking gym supplements and creatine if I’m taking PrEP?
  • Do I need to continue to take PrEP during a period of not having sex?
  • If my sexual partner is HIV positive with an undetectable viral load, or my partner is taking PrEP, do I need to take PrEP too?

Watch Sam, one of the clinic’s doctors, answer the above in a video for GAY TIMES below or by clicking here:


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