Australian guidelines for taking PrEP have been created by experts in the field of HIV prevention. Currently, only two ways of taking PrEP are recommended; daily PrEP and on-demand PrEP.
Daily PrEP involves taking a PrEP pill every day and is the most common way that PrEP is taken. If you miss a dose when taking daily PrEP, take it as soon as possible. However, if you’re close to taking your next regular dose, it’s fine to wait. There is no need to take two pills to make up for the missed dose. If you miss more than two doses a week then you should speak with your GP or use these simple tips to help remind you to take it daily. You can use a pillbox, keep them next to your bedside table or next to your toothbrush as a daily reminder, take the pill at the same time every day to start a routine or set a smart phone reminder.
On-Demand PrEP is a different way of taking PrEP and is extremely effective in preventing HIV. It involves taking two pills 2-24 hours before sex, a single pill at 24 and then again at 48 hours after the double dose. If you have sex over several days, simply extend your On-Demand PrEP by taking one PrEP pill a day until you have two sex free days where you have taken PrEP.
It is important that when using on-demand PrEP that you adhere strictly to the dosing regimen to provide the greatest level of protection against HIV. If you miss or are unable to take any of the pills involved, get access to PEP within 72 hours of sex.
At this stage, there is only clear evidence to support On-Demand PrEP for cis-gendered men who have sex with men. If you are a woman (cis or trans), trans-man, or heterosexual male, there is no evidence that using on-demand PrEP is effective at preventing HIV and therefore it is recommended that you take daily PrEP.
No matter how you take PrEP, checking in with a doctor every three months for routine tests is part of the PrEP program.