PEP and PrEP

There are many things it might help positive people to know about PEP and PrEP.  Likewise, there are many things HIV-negative people could learn from positive friends and partners, particularly about PrEP.

Living Positive Victoria, in partnership with VAC, have prepared TALKING TO YOUR HIV-NEGATIVE FRIENDS AND PARTNERS ABOUT PREP as a guide for people living with HIV in discussion with HIV negative gay men.

Living Positive Victoria has issued a statements about PrEP: PrEP Proactive Responsible Empowered Pleasure

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis provides ongoing protection

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis uses a combination of two drugs, tenofovir and emtricitabine, that an HIV-negative person takes every day to protect themselves against HIV exposure during sex.

At the moment, apart from research projects that are fully subscribed, there are no programs to provide PrEP for free to people with high-risk sexual practices.  If they can afford it, an HIV-negative person can obtain PrEP by getting a prescription from an s100 GP and then paying out of pocket to import generic medication from overseas.

Talking with your friends and partners about PrEP

People living with HIV are in a unique position to provide advice and support to their friends and partners who are considering or currently using PrEP.  Living Positive Victoria, in partnership with VAC, have prepared TALKING TO YOUR HIV-NEGATIVE FRIENDS AND PARTNERS ABOUT PREP as a guide for people living with HIV in discussion with HIV negative gay men.

If you're a gay man using hook-up sites like Grindr and Scruff you might see individuals putting (=) next to their profile names. Positive guys will often put (+) next to their name to indicate that they are HIV positive and lessen the likelihood of being rejected on the basis of their status. In some cases the (=) indicates that the guy is on PrEP or that they are seeking partners who take equal responsibility for their sexual health. Here's what one guy said about his use of (=):

"I am PrEP and Poz friendly. The (=) in my screen name means that I am stigma-free, and don't discriminate against people based on their HIV status. I highly recommend doing some research and making informed decisions. If you are Poz... get on treatment so you'll be undetectable, which science now shows makes you non-contagious to others. If you are Neg and want to have natural sex (without condoms), consider going on PrEP and the changes of contracting HIV are nearly 0%. This will not prevent other possible diseases, however. So, discernment is still important. Safe sex no longer just means condoms."

PREP Victorian Accord

Living Positive Victoria has joined other community organisations, grass roots activists and medical researchers, including the Victorian AIDS Council, PrEPaccessNOW, PrEP’d for Change, Time4PrEP and researchers from the VicPrEP clinical trial to sign off on a set of shared principles around the adoption of PrEP as an important HIV-prevention tool.

For details about the accord please follow the link: 
http://www.livingpositivevictoria.org.au/announcements/accordonprep

PEP is for the morning after (and the 27 mornings after that)

PEP stands for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis. Post means ‘after’ and prophylaxis means ‘prevention’. PEP is a month-long course of anti-HIV medication that can prevent HIV from taking hold in the body. PEP needs to be commenced within 72 hours of a possible exposure to HIV to protect against infection.

If someone you know has been exposed to HIV in the past 72 hours (three days):

Call 1800 887 889 or visit getpep.info for the location of a clinic that can assess their need for PEP.

PEP is free if you have had a medium or high-risk possible exposure to HIV.