PrEP is a pill you can take to protect yourself from HIV. PrEP is very effective when taken properly. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) involves taking HIV medicines before you have sex. PrEP is not freely available on the NHS yet, but you can buy it from the Dean Street PrEP Shop or online.
56 Dean Street created PrEP Shop to make it easier for you to buy generic HIV PrEP from someone you trust. By using the buying power of the NHS, Dean Street aims to keep prices as affordable as they can. And they have recently launched a new pricing structure and can offer a discount if you buy multiple packs. You cannot use the PrEP Shop if you are not eligible for NHS care.
How to take PrEP
If you’re taking PrEP, it’s really important to get the right advice, run some tests, check you don’t have Hepatitis B and make sure that any other drugs or supplements you take don’t interact with PrEP. You should also check with a healthcare professional that you don’t have any other health problems that might be an issue. Dean Street keeps things safe by linking all these things together. The clinic has doctors, pharmacists and nurses who write and check your prescription, and are able to give you advice.
HIV PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) involves taking pills containing two drugs to protect you from catching HIV. It works really well if you take it correctly.
There are two ways you can take PrEP. For continuous protection, you take a pill every day. After a week you will be protected.
If you can predict when you will be at risk, you could use ‘intermittent’ or ‘event-based’ PrEP. This involves taking 2 pills between 2 and 24hrs BEFORE sex. You then take one pill every day until at least 2 days after the last unprotected sex.
It’s important to remember that HIV PrEP doesn’t protect against other sexually transmitted infections.
Before starting PrEP
Recently there have been a few patients who developed drug resistance because they didn’t get the proper checks before starting PrEP. Dean Street and other sexual health clinics are here to help you stay safe, which includes getting started on PrEP. So do not hesitate to come into the clinic if you need help or want to get started on PrEP. Before you start PrEP, it is really important to have kidney, hepatitis B and HIV tests.
For more information about PrEP and how to take it, visit dean.st/prepshop. And Dean Street recommends that you read the PrEP leaflet on the ‘i-Base’ website.
How do I buy from Dean Street PrEP Shop?
There’s some paperwork you need to complete before it is possible to prescribe PrEP. You’ll need to register for ‘Additional Private Care’ and then run some tests to check if it’s safe to prescribe PrEP to you.
To start tell a member of the Dean Street staff that you want to buy from ‘PrEP Shop’ during your visit to ‘56 Dean Street’ or ‘Dean Street Express’. People starting PrEP can walk into Dean Street Express without making an appointment.
A healthcare professional will explain how ‘Additional Private Care’ works and ask you to sign the paperwork.
They will ask about your medical history and if you’re taking other medicines.
They will check your kidney blood and urine tests.
They will check your Hepatitis B result.
After your appointment, they will ask you to email ‘PrEP Shop’ with your name, clinic number and your request (Maximum 7-month supply between check-ups).
They will text you a few days later to let you know that our doctor has checked the results and prescribed your medicines.
You come in, pay and collect your PrEP tablets from 56 Dean Street.
Dean Street advises you to get monitored at Dean Street Express every 3-6 months.
What is Additional Private Care?
Additional Private Care is where you buy extra healthcare on top of standard NHS care. In this case your sexual health screening and monitoring tests are provided free by the NHS. You’ll just pay for the prescribing and supply of the PrEP drugs.
You’ll need to sign some paperwork confirming you understand the following information.
If you buy ‘Additional Private Care’, your entitlement to NHS care is not affected.
The NHS part of your care remains the same as that of other NHS patients.
The private and NHS parts of your care will be kept as separate as possible.
You will not be charged for your 3-6 monthly PrEP monitoring.
The private part of your care will have the same quality assurance and audit checks as our NHS services.
If PrEP becomes available on the NHS in the future, you won’t be entitled to a refund.
HIV PrEP is available elsewhere. Ask one of our team for the latest information.
56 Dean Street will not be able to supply PrEP if you are no longer able to afford it.
56 Dean Street will not be able to prescribe generic PrEP if it is withdrawn from the UK market.