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What is PrEP?

Updated: Mar 11, 2022

PrEP in general

  • What is PrEP?

PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, it helps protect against HIV before you've been exposed. PrEP is medication, taken in pill form, that works against the HIV virus. You take PrEP depending on your preferences or personal situation: every day or a different schedule. It is important to know that you have to take PrEP consistently for it to keep working. If you have quit PrEP and want to start again that is something to talk to your doctor about.

  • Who can use PrEP?

People who do not have HIV and are at risk of getting HIV can use PrEP. If your sex partner has HIV and uses medication for this you do not have to use PrEP – your partner can not transmit the virus if it is no longer detectable in their blood.

  • Are there side effects?

Most people experience few side effects, such as head- or stomachaches, or nausea. PrEP can also affect your kidneys. To make sure that you are not experiencing kidney problems your blood will be tested regularly.

  • Does that mean I no longer have to use a condom?

PrEP only protects against HIV, not other STIs. To prevent other STIs use a condom.

  • Where can I get PrEP?

That depends. We will summarize how it works in different countries, and where you can get more information.

To get PrEP in the Netherlands you have to go to the GGD or your general practitioner. At the GGD you get the pills immediately, the general practitioner gives you a prescription to pick up the pills at a pharmacy. It is possible that there is a waiting list at the GGD; in that case you might have to wait.

  • What does PrEP cost?

If you get it through the GGD you'll pay €7,50 for 90 pills. Through the general practitioner, it depends on the brand of the pills and the pharmacy you go to.

Care from the general practitioner, just like the laboratory tests, is usually paid for through your insurance, where you might have to pay a deductible.

  • Want to know more?

To get PrEP in Belgium you have to make an appointment with an HIV-reference center.

  • What does PrEP cost?

It depends on your personal circumstances and your 'mutuality'. A generic version costs €11,90 per 90 pills, a brand version costs €11,90 per 30 pills. The laboratory tests that you do at an HIV-reference center sometimes have associated costs, which differ per center.

  • Want to know more?

In Germany you can get PrEP prescribed by a doctor.

  • What does PrEP cost?

Insurance usually covers the costs of PrEP, it depends on your personal circumstances and if you have private insurance.

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