How to get PrEP
Accessing PrEP could be easier than you imagine. The first step involves starting a conversation with your doctor.
Doctors have to be familiar with a huge variety of rapidly evolving health topics, so not all doctors might know about PrEP as a biomedical HIV prevention strategy just yet.
Australia has national clinical guidelines and other education resources to help doctors know how to prescribe PrEP and manage your health while using it.
The guidelines prioritise PrEP for people who can benefit the most. The guidelines don’t prevent anybody at risk of acquiring HIV from being able to access PrEP if they want it, as long as there are no medical reasons stopping this.
If you’re a man who has sex with men, trans or gender diverse, an injecting drug user or at risk of HIV exposure for any reason, PrEP could be right for you.
Opting in to use PrEP involves seeing a doctor or sexual health nurse once every three months for comprehensive sexual health tests.
Nationally subsidised PrEP
Since April 1, 2018, PrEP is a federal government subsidised medicine listed on Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in all states and territories.
People with access to Medicare can benefit from the PBS subsidised price. People without access to Medicare are not eligible for the PBS subsidy, though other affordable options are available.
Unlike medicines for treating HIV that only specialists can prescribe, any registered doctor or sexual health nurse practitioner in Australia can prescribe PrEP as a preventative medicine.
Clinical studies providing early access to PrEP are no longer enrolling in any state or territory.
Find a doctor
Australian residents with access to Medicare can visit any doctor or sexual health centre to access PrEP. Some doctors may offer bulk billing. Others may charge standard appointment fees with Medicare rebates available.
To locate a doctor or sexual health nurse practitioner, the Find PrEP section includes an interactive map to locate known PrEP prescribers nearby.
It's recommended 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.
No access to Medicare
If you don't have access to Medicare, PrEP is still available to you. However, you may have to pay to see a doctor as well as necessary pathology tests.
Some sexual health centres may provide free services to people without access to Medicare. It's recommended to contact your doctor or sexual health centre in advance to understand possible fees.
You may be able to claim some or all of your appointment and pathology costs through your private health insurance policy. It's recommended to check details of your policy with your insurance provider.
There are several options for purchasing PrEP. A valid prescription is always required.
PrEP is available to buy in any local pharmacy in Australia or from an online pharmacy for personal importation.
People with access to Medicare will only pay the PBS subsidised price when buying from a local pharmacy. This is currently $40.30 (or $6.50 with a concession) for 30 days’ supply of PrEP.
People with or without access to Medicare are permitted to buy PrEP online for personal importation. Prices start upwards from around $20 for 30 days’ supply of PrEP.
For anyone who cannot afford PrEP for any reason, financial assistance to access free PrEP may be available through community schemes.
Check out the Buy PrEP section for more information on how to apply for free PrEP, buying from a local pharmacy, buying online and monthly price comparisons.