Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a daily medication that provides protection from HIV. The science is in on this one too. If taken as prescribed, PrEP can be a successful HIV prevention strategy, although it does not protect against other STIs or pregnancy.
PrEP is now available through the PBS for those who want it and have a Medicare card, including trans MSM and our sexual partners, it is accessible from any GP. Check out a list of PrEP-aware GPs.
PrEP can also be imported for personal use from overseas, with the cost of importing cheaper than ever before. Learn more about the personal importation scheme here.
Anyone unable to afford the PBS or importation cost of PrEP is eligible for free PrEP through the PrEPaccessNOW (PAN) Assistance Scheme. Head to the PAN website for more information.
At the moment, there are three medications approved for use as PrEP in Australia; Truvada™ and two generic variants, produced by Mylan and Generic Health.
Generic medications approved for use work exactly the same way as their brand name counterparts. It’s all PrEP and it all works.
PrEP access trials have been running since PrEP was approved by the TGA to support uptake before it was listed on the PBS. These will continue until their scheduled end, some a few months and some until 2020.
The two ingredients of PrEP (emtricitabine and tenofovir) have no known contraindications with any transition-related hormones such as Primotestin and Reandron. It is an HIV medication that many trans people living with HIV have used for treatment over many years.
The current best expert opinion is that PrEP protects both front hole and anal penetration after 7 days. To maintain this protective level, people having receptive front hole sex need to keep taking Truvada daily, for people having receptive anal sex there is more flexibility, however, it is recommended that the medication be taken every day.
When and if you decide to stop taking Truvada as PrEP, make sure you keep taking it for 28 days after any risk event (such as condomless sex) before stopping the medication. This essentially turns PrEP into PEP and reduces the risk of seroconversion.
We were thrilled to work with the Victorian AIDS Council on this great video resource all about PrEP 4 trans men.