Before starting PrEP, it is very important to be confirmed as HIV negative. To do this, you need to be tested. Find out how to test for HIV here. When adhered to as advised, PrEP is very effective strategy at preventing HIV infection.
On 1 October 2020, access to PrEP in England became free on the NHS via your local sexual health clinic. A doctor there will assess your HIV-risk and determine if you are eligible for free NHS-funded PrEP.
How to access PrEP
Check the website of your local NHS clinic and call ahead or complete an online form to arrange an appointment (you can find your local clinic here). A telephone consultation is usually offered first and then an appointment is arranged at the clinic for vaccinations, kidney function tests and to provide PrEP.
Clinics can provide STI and HIV tests but most will encourage people to test ahead with SHL to reduce the time they need to spend in the clinic and the frequency of visits – please see our page on testing for links to SHL or local testing services). By testing online first, clinics can maximize the people they can see for PrEP supply and STI treatment can be provided at the appointment if needed.
Testing with SHL is simple and can be done in the comfort and privacy of the home. Staff in the clinic are able to access the tests results from the clinician portal so they can arrange treatment for new infections and for routine reviews of PrEP care.