This is how you can order PrEP online easily, safely and quickly
The UK is making great strides towards ending new HIV transmissions by 2030. And a major part of that work involves PrEP, which is more readily available than ever.
The most recent estimate suggests that 103,800 are living with HIV in the UK, with around seven per cent of those unaware that they have acquired the virus.
At the end of 2018, it was said that new diagnoses have been declining since their peak in 2005, with a six per cent drop in 2018 alone, the first full year that PrEP was available in England, Wales and Scotland.
What is PrEP?
In the US, PrEP is synonymous with the brand name Truvada. Both branded and unbranded versions share the same active ingredient: Emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil, an antiviral medicine that prevents HIV from multiplying in the body.
Studies have shown that the pill, taken daily, can reduce the risk of acquiring HIV through condomless sex by up to 99 per cent.
“PrEP works,” Matthew Hodson, executive director of HIV awareness and knowledge charity NAM, told PinkNews.
“If you’re a cis man, taking PrEP daily offers practically total protection against HIV.”
People who are not cis men can also take PrEP, however should seek medical advice first.
How to get PrEP online.
PrEP is available throughout the UK. In the coming months it will be rolled out on the NHS in Wales and England, where it is currently available through trials. It is already available on the NHS in Scotland, and in Northern Ireland, the drug is being made available as part of a two-year pilot programme.
But for some, visiting a GP or sexual health clinic isn’t feasible or convenient.
Adil Bhaloda, Prescription Doctor’s independent prescriber, told PinkNews: “In the UK, a major challenge for LGBT+ people who are seeking PrEP is getting access to it in the first place.
“At the present moment, it’s only available on the NHS in Scotland, making it hard for those in England and Wales, where it is not yet available on the NHS, to get access to it.
“Moreover, those in remote and rural locations face further problems getting access to healthcare.
“We understand these challenges and are proud to offer a viable and safe route for anyone looking for access to PrEP.”
How Prescription Doctor works.
It offers generic PrEP, an unbranded version that is used by the NHS and is far less costly than Truvada.
Users make their purchase through a confidential online prescribing service. By simply filling out a questionnaire, the website’s doctor will determine the user’s suitability for the drug.
If the user gets the green light, and if ordered before 3pm, their order will be dispatched the same day with next day delivery.
As not everyone who needs the drug may be open about their sexuality, Prescription Doctor takes extra steps to conceal the product under two layers of packaging.
PrEP is sold in two quantities — 30 tablets for £49.95 and 60 tablets for £99.98.
Hodson says: “Buying PrEP from online retailers can be useful if, for any reason, you can’t access it for free where you live.
“PrEP doesn’t protect against other STIs, so if you’re having sex without condoms with new or multiple partners it’s important to have regular STI screens.
“If you self-source, it’s important to ensure that you are actually HIV negative before you start, otherwise there’s a risk of developing resistance to the drugs that are used for PrEP, which may reduce your treatment options.”