HIV PEP & PrEP FAQ

We provide quick and safe access to HIV Post and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PEP & PrEP).  While practicing safe sex and undergoing regular STI testing is the best way to stay healthy, knowledge on PEP and PrEP topic is also important.  Below are some questions and answers the staff at Stonewall get asked regularly.  We hope they are helpful.

General Questions

What is PEP?

Post- exposure prophylaxis is one tablet that contains two anti-HIV medication called Truvada.  At Stonewall, Truvada starter packs and a prescription can provided to people, who have been potentially exposed to HIV through sex or needle stick.

How fast do I need to take PEP?

You need to take PEP as soon as possible but no later than 72 hours after being exposed to body fluid that may have contained HIV.

Where do I get PEP?

You can be assessed for PEP at our clinic during our opening hours and if deemed appropriate access a PEP starter pack at our clinic. We will also give you a prescription for a 28 day supply of the medication.  When Stonewall is closed then you need to present to your nearest Hospital Emergency Department for assessment.  Get PEP Now has a list of sites across Queensland.

How do I take PEP?

You need to take one Truvada tablet daily.

How long to I take PEP for?

You need to take PEP for a total of 28 days.

What blood tests do you perform when you assess me for PEP?

We need to test your blood to ensure that the results are normal and to exclude HIV, HBV and HCV infection.

What else do you do when you assess me for PEP?

We check if you need HBV vaccination and offer it to you.

We check if you need the morning after pill and offer it to you.

Do I need to come back to Stonewall when taking PEP?

Yes. We need to see you three more times after your initial assessment:

  • Two weeks after starting Truvada to check how you are feeling. We will also test your blood, urine and swabs for Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and Syphilis.
  • Then at day 28 to see if you could finish your medication and to see if you are well.
  • Lastly, we need to see you 2-4 weeks after completing PEP for a final HIV, HBV and HCV test.
What are the side-effects of PEP?

Most people tolerate Truvada well. Some may develop bloating, nausea and headache.  Usually these symptoms stop after few days. Some patients especially those who have known kidney and liver problems may not tolerate Truvada.  

Truvada can affect the kidneys and contribute to Osteoporosis.

We will explore this with you and together we will decide the best way forward.

What is PrEP?

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, is one tablet that contains two anti-HIV medication co-formulated tenofovir and emtricitabine.   PrEP is an effective prevention strategy for: men who have sex with men (MSM), heterosexual men and women, transgender people, and people who inject drugs who are at-risk of HIV acquisition.

Whats the difference between PEP and PrEP?
How do I get a PrEP prescription from the Doctor?
Once I have my PrEP prescription, what next?
Where can I find more information about PEP?

Here you can access the Australian PEP guidelines: PEP Guidelines – ASHM

Who decides if I should have PrEP?

You and your doctor will review your risk of getting infected with HIV and together weigh the benefits and disadvantages of taking PrEP versus possibly encountering HIV short or long-term.

How fast to I need to take PrEP?

You should discuss PrEP with us as soon as possible so together we can decide if and when you should start PrEP.

Where do I get PrEP?

You will receive a prescription to buy PrEP at the local pharmacist. Typically your prescription will last for three months.

How should I take PrEP: daily or on-demand?

PrEP is licenced as a once daily dose in Australia. However, there is good research information showing that PrEP on-demand can prevent HIV transmission if taken correctly. You and your doctor will discuss these options and decide together what is most suitable for you.

When does PrEP start working?

Once daily PrEP is effective after 7 days.

When does PrEP stop working?
How long to I take PrEP for?

You need to take PrEP for as long as you are at risk of exposure to HIV. A minimum of two tablets 24 hours apart need to be taken after the last exposure risk, i.e. sexual intercourse.

What are the side-effects of PEP?

Most people tolerate PrEP well. Some may develop bloating, nausea and headache.  Usually these symptoms stop after few days. Some patients especially those who have known kidney and liver problems may not tolerate PrEP.

PrEP can affect the kidneys and contribute to Osteoporosis.

We will explore this with you and together we will decide the best way forward.

Where can I find more information about PrEP?

Here you can access the Australian PrEP Guidelines:  PrEP Guidelines – ASHM

About Our Services

General Practice
Specialist Care
Allied Health

Stonewall Medical Centre

We want you to feel safe to get the relief you deserve

Phone: 07 3857 1222

Fax: 07 3857 2333

52 Newmarket Road, Windsor QLD 4030