If you are HIV negative and don’t always use condoms then you may be at risk of getting HIV. Taking PrEP can prevent HIV.
You may be eligible to get PrEP for free. You need to attend an approved PrEP service provider to access free PrEP.
Find out where to get PrEP from an approved PrEP service provider.
If you are eligible for free PrEP, you also need to get a drug payment scheme (DPS) card. There is no means test for a drug payment scheme card but you do need a PPS number.
You can also use a medical card or long-term illness card if you have one of those.
Who is eligible for free PrEP?
To get PrEP for free through the HSE you need to:
- test negative for HIV
- be able to attend for a check-up at least once every 3 months
- meet at least 1 of the following criteria for free PrEP
1: You are having sex without condoms with HIV-positive partners who:
- are not on HIV treatment, or
- are on treatment but not virally suppressed (do not have an 'undetectable' viral load)
2: You are a man who has sex with men. This includes transgender men who have sex with men or a transgender woman who has sex with men, who meets any 1 ofthe following:
- had anal sex without condoms with more than 1 partner in the last 6 months
- had an STI in the last year
- used HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in the last year
- used recreational drugs for sex (also known as chemsex) in the last 6 months
3: You are a heterosexual man or woman who is considered by a specialist STI doctor, to be at a large risk of contracting HIV through sex.
If you are not eligible for PrEP
If you do not meet the criteria for free PrEP you can decide to pay for PrEP.
You can buy PrEP through community pharmacies with a prescription.
Who should not take PrEP?
PrEP should not be used if you are HIV positive.
You may not need PrEP if you are:
- using condoms consistently and happy to continue using them
- only having sex with HIV-positive partners who are on treatment and have an undetectable viral load
An undetectable viral load is when the virus exists in such small amounts that it can’t be detected by standard blood tests. It means the level of HIV in your body is so low, it can’t be passed on. This needs to be monitored regularly by a healthcare professional.
Buying PrEP online
It is possible to buy generic PrEP products over the internet.
In Ireland, it is illegal for a person to source prescription medication without a prescription.
The Health Products Regulation Authority (HPRA) have information on the risks of buying medicines online.