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.
If you’re a man who has sex with men, trans or gender diverse, an injecting drug user, or at risk of HIV for any reason, PrEP could be right for you.
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.
For overseas-born men who have sex with men in Victoria who do not have Medicare, the PrEPMe Clinic at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital 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.
There are several options for buying PrEP. A valid prescription is always required.
PrEP is available to buy in any local pharmacy in Australia or from an overseas online pharmacy for personal importation.
Since April 1, 2018, PrEP is a federal government subsidised medicine on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in all states and territories across Australia. This means if you have Medicare, buying PrEP in any Australian pharmacy will cost no more than $41.00 for one months' supply, or $6.60 with a concession.
For anyone with Medicare, a three for the price of one offer for 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 buying online for personal importation.
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 monthly price comparison, how to apply for free PrEP, and details on accessing the three for one offer anywhere in Australia.