PrEP and condoms, do you need both? What are your options?

If you are using condoms every time you have sex the chances of getting HIV are tiny.  The vast majority of gay men in the UK get HIV from anal sex without condoms.

But you need to be honest with yourself. Have you ever taken risks or had unprotected sex with someone because they said they are HIV negative on their profile or when you’ve spoken? Most HIV infections are passed on from people who don’t know they are HIV positive because they haven’t been tested recently enough.

If you are taking risks like this, PrEP can help stop you getting HIV. You can take it every day or just when you know you are going to have sex.

Event-based PrEP or ‘on-demand’ PrEP involves taking the tablets for anal sex just when you need them.

On-demand dosing involves:

  1. Taking a double dose of PrEP (two pills) before you have sex. Ideally this should be between 2 and 24 hours before sex.
  2. Taking a single pill 24 hours after the double dose.
  3. Keep taking another single pill every 24 hours until you have taken 2 doses after your last risk.

Although the pre-dose is important for the highest protection (step 1), if you miss or are late with the pre-dose, take the double dose as soon as possible after sex. It may still give you some protection. You can read more here.