Pre exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
Public Health England announced plans for PrEP to be rolled out in England starting April 2020. PrEP is currently not yet available in any of our clinics in West Sussex as the roll up has not been commenced and will be delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to check our website for updates.
Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
HIV PEP is available and free for people who feel that they have been at high risk of exposure to HIV for example unprotected anal sex between men when their HIV status is not known.
PEP is a course of anti HIV medication taken twice a day for 28 days in order to prevent the HIV virus entering the body’s blood cells. If you are not sure whether you need PEP please speak to one of our team so we can assess the risk and advise you further.
PEP is available from our Sexual Health clinics in Crawley, Chichester and Worthing during opening hours. Outside of these hours you should attend your local A&E department.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
What is PrEP?
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV) is a medication that can be used by people who are HIV negative, but at high risk of HIV, to dramatically reduce their chance of catching HIV. It has been shown to be highly effective in previous trials.
What is the PrEP IMPACT trial?
The PrEP Impact Trial will recruit 26,000 people at high risk of HIV acquisition across England, and offer them PrEP.
Am I eligible for the trial?
People aged 16 or over who meet one of the following criteria:
Men and transgender women who:
· Have sex with men
· AND have had an HIV negative test during in the preceding year
· AND report condomless sex (excluding oral) in the previous 3 months
· AND are likely to continue having condomless sex (excluding oral) in the next 3 months
HIV negative partners of an HIV positive person when:
· The HIV positive partner is not known to be virally suppressed (<200 copies/ml for 6 months or more)
· AND condomless sex (excluding oral) is anticipated before treatment of the HIV positive partner takes effect
Other HIV negative people assessed to be at high risk of HIV acquisition.
This may include people having condomless sex (excluding oral) with multiple partners from parts of the world where HIV is common (such as Southern Africa, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean), and commercial sex workers or their clients who report regular condomless sex.
How can I join the trial?
Our sexual health clinics in Chichester, Crawley and Worthing are currently recruiting to the IMPACT trial. We only have a limited number of spaces available at each locality.
If you are interested and believe you are eligible please contact the Sexual Health Service central booking line on 01903 285199 and book an appointment with one of the trial clinicians.
Before your appointment we recommend that you read the trial participant sheet available here.
Is there any other way to obtain PrEP?
Unfortunately PrEP is not available on the NHS in England outside of the IMPACT trial.
Individuals are able to acquire PrEP from other sources online. We recommend that you read the guide to PrEP available here. And visit the website iwantprepnow website.
If you are planning to self-source PrEP we recommend that you make an appointment with the Sexual health team. Although we are unable to provide PrEP we can provide you with advice on how to use PrEP and the safety monitoring required.
Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) has set up a fund to give financial assistance to people who are not able to access PrEP on the NHS and who cannot afford to buy it themselves online. The THT Mags Portman PrEP Access Fund will provide PrEP for up to 1,000 people and will be open until the end of the Impact Trial or until PrEP is commissioned on the NHS, whichever comes first.
Applicants need to be:
– aged over 16 years
– resident in England or Northern Ireland
– clinically eligible for PrEP (see Impact trial eligibility below)
– able to confirm HIV negative status and engagement with sexual health services
– able to demonstrate the need for support by submitting documents showing that they have no income or are in receipt of benefits.
More information on the fund and how to apply can be found here.