How to start PrEP
Starting PrEP could be easier than you imagine. The first step involves starting a conversation with a doctor or sexual health nurse practitioner.
Doctors have to learn about a lot of rapidly changing health topics, so not all doctors might know about PrEP for preventing HIV just yet.
Australia has national clinical guidelines and other education resources to help doctors understand how to prescribe PrEP and manage your health while you use it.
The guidelines ensure anybody at risk of HIV can get PrEP as long as there are no medical reasons that make PrEP an unsuitable choice.
PrEP could be right for you if you’re:
a man who has sex with men
trans or gender diverse
an injecting drug user
at risk of HIV for any reason
Using PrEP involves seeing a doctor or sexual health nurse practitioner once every three months for comprehensive sexual health tests.
Find a doctor
Visit a doctor or sexual health centre to start PrEP. Some doctors may offer bulk billing. Others may charge standard appointment fees with Medicare rebate.
To locate a doctor or sexual health nurse practitioner known to prescribe PrEP, use our interactive map in the Find PrEP section.
It's best to call in advance to check that PrEP is available from the healthcare professional you're seeing and to request an appointment of appropriate duration.
If you don't have Medicare, PrEP is still available to you. However, you may have to pay to see a doctor as well as for pathology tests.
Some sexual health centres provide free services to people without Medicare. Contact your doctor or sexual health centre in advance to understand fees.
You may be able to claim some or all of your appointment and pathology costs through your private health insurance policy. Check the details of your policy with your insurance provider.
Overseas-born guys living in Victoria who do not have Medicare may be eligible to attend the PrEPMe Clinic service. This operates from The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, as well as every Tuesday at the Centre Clinic, St Kilda. The service provides consultations and pathology free of charge. This means you will not have to pay for your tests or to get a prescription for PrEP. For more information call the Victorian HIV Prevention Line on 1800 889 887 or send the clinic an email.
Thanks to the Australian Government, since April 1, 2018, PrEP is a subsidised medicine on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This means if you have Medicare, buying PrEP in any Australian pharmacy will cost you no more than $30.00 for one months' supply, or $7.30 with a concession.
For anyone with Medicare, discounted PrEP is also available by mail order from a group of Australian pharmacies.
Whether you do or don’t have Medicare, prices start from around $20 per month when you import PrEP from an online pharmacy.
If you can’t afford PrEP for any reason, free PrEP is available through assistance schemes.
The Buy PrEP section includes information on all buying options, a price comparison chart, how to apply for free PrEP, and details on accessing discounted PrEP anywhere in Australia.