Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis

PrEP will be available from 4 November 2019 through the HSE, free of charge to those who are considered to be at high risk of contracting HIV through sex - please use the link below as this info is being updated constantly with new information and clear steps for anyone looking for information and pathways to accessing PeEP. https://www.sexualwellbeing.ie/sexual-health/prep/

For now the most important piece of information is that you will need to apply for a Drugs payment scheme card https://www2.hse.ie/services/drugs-payment-scheme/drugs-payment-scheme-card.html

PrEP to prevent HIV

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. PrEP is taken by HIV negative people before having sex (pre-exposure) and after sex, to prevent HIV (this is called prophylaxis).

PrEP has been shown in many studies to be safe and highly effective at preventing HIV. When taken correctly PrEP has been found to be about 99% effective.

PrEP is the newest HIV prevention tool available and is best used in combination with other HIV prevention measures.

If you decide to use PrEP, it is important to do this with support from a healthcare professional.

How to get PrEP

PrEP is now available through the HSE. Read more about how to get PrEP.

Benefits of PrEP

If you are HIV negative and don’t always use condoms, then PrEP could reduce your risk of HIV.

You may have a higher risk of HIV if you:

  • are having sex with HIV-positive partners who are not on treatment or whose treatment may not be working
  • had a recent sexually transmitted infection (STI), especially a rectal infection or syphilis
  • have used PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) in the past year
  • are using recreational drugs for sex, also known as chemsex

PrEP and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

PrEP does not protect against other STIs. For example, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and hepatitis C.

PrEP users can combine condoms and PrEP to reduce the risk of contracting other STIs.

Regular STI testing at least every 3 months is recommended for people taking PrEP.

Vaccination against hepatitis A and B is recommended for all gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who inject drugs.

HPV vaccination is recommended for MSM up to and including 45 years of age to protect against genital warts and HPV-associated cancers.

How to get PrEP

If you are HIV negative and don’t always use condoms then you may be at risk of getting HIV. Taking PrEP can prevent HIV.

You may be eligible to get PrEP for free. You need to attend an approved PrEP service provider to access free PrEP.

Find out where to get PrEP from an approved PrEP service provider.

If you are eligible for free PrEP, you also need to have a medical card or drug payment scheme (DPS) card. There is no means test for a drug payment scheme card but you do need a PPS number.

Do you have any questions? We are here to help.