PrEP isn’t available through the HSE but increasing numbers of people are buying PrEP from online pharmacies. This guide on where to buy PrEP in Ireland online pinpoints some things you need to know if you’re thinking of sourcing PrEP
This article was originally published in the December 2016 Sex Issue of GCN (Issue 324) which is available online here.
Some sexual health clinics will provide support and monitoring to people who are using PrEP that’s been bought online. Check with your sexual health clinic to see if this is something that they can provide for you before starting PrEP. They can monitor your health in case of side effects from the medication – but only if you let them know that you’re taking it.
You need to be sure you are definitely HIV negative before starting PrEP. Visit a sexual health clinic or doctor and ask for a ‘fourth generation’ HIV test – these tests are better at picking up recent HIV infection than older generation tests.
It is recommended that you test again four weeks after starting PrEP in case the first test did not pick up a recent infection. If that test is positive, stop PrEP immediately and visit a sexual health clinic.
Don’t start PrEP if you have had recent flu-like symptoms, as these might be symptoms from a recent HIV infection if you have been at risk.
Have a full STI screening before you start, including a urine dipstick for protein, which tests kidney function. It is important to have these full screenings every three months.
3. Buying online
Figuring out where to buy PrEP in Ireland can be difficult, but there is a great resource available online. The website iwantprepnow.co.uk lists a number of online pharmacies that have been checked and verified.
PrEPster and iwantprepnow.co.uk have worked with sexual health doctors to undertake Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) tests on people who have bought and used PrEP from the websites featured on iwantprepnow. 234 tests purchased from the site found no fakes.
4. The Legalities
It is not currently legal to buy PrEP directly to Ireland. You can legally purchase three months of PrEP for personal use to be delivered to a UK/Northern Irish address and collect it or have it forwarded to you.
This article comes from Dr Will Nutland, co-founder of PrEPster, which aims to educate and agitate for PrEP access
© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News Ireland). All rights reserved.