Owing to the unexpectedly large demand for PrEP treatment that we have received, the current estimated waiting time for the first appointment is 12 months. It is also possible to ask your family doctor for a referral to Ahus, if you live in the Oslo area. If you live outside Oslo, you can ask to be referred to your local infectious diseases clinic.
What is PrEP?
PrEP is an abbreviation for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. It is a preventive measure against HIV infection.
PrEP means that HIV-negative individuals take tablets to reduce their risk of being infected with HIV. So far, Truvada is the only medication used in PrEP treatment. It contains the active agents tenofovir and emtricitabine.
PrEP is recommended as a supplement in HIV prevention work in combination with condom use, among other things.
PrEP is not a 100% guarantee against contracting HIV. However, research shows that PrEP treatment in the form of Truvada is highly effective if used correctly. Globally, a very small number of cases have been registered where people undergoing PrEP treatment have become infected with HIV despite using the medication correctly. Taking these drugs is not without risk, however, and they do have known side effects.
PrEP does not provide 100% protection
PrEP does not protect against other STIs
PrEP can affect renal function and bone density
PrEP is only effective when you take the tablets as recommended
Do I need PrEP?
Consider PrEP if you are HIV-negative and at high risk of being infected.
For example if:
You have an HIV-positive partner who is not receiving HIV treatment
You have recently had a rectal STI (sexually transmitted infection)
You have recently used PEP
You find it difficult to always use a condom for anal sex
You frequently have sex without a condom with someone at high risk of HIV infection
PrEP is not for you:
if you are already HIV-positive
Who can use PrEP?
In order to be eligible for PrEP, you must be HIV-negative and at considerable risk of being infected. It is therefore very important to know your HIV status before starting on this medication. If you are already infected with HIV, PrEP treatment can cause resistance to develop, which means that future treatment of your HIV infection may be more challenging. Such complications are particularly likely to arise during the window period. It is therefore important that you are honest with us about when you last had unprotected sex, so that we can assess whether the results of the tests we carry out are reliable.
How is PrEP used?
PrEP can be used in two different ways. One PrEP regimen consists of taking the tablets every day (continuously), while the other regimen involves taking tablets as necessary (intermittently).
Continuous treatment means taking one pill per day. This PrEP regimen is suitable for you if you have many sexual partners all the time or if it is unpredictable when you are going to have sex.
In an intermittent treatment regimen, you take two tablets 2–24 hours before sexual contact, and then one tablet per day. The last tablets are taken 24 and 48 hours after your last high-risk exposure (unprotected sex). It is important not to take more than seven tablets per week. The intermittent PrEP regimen is more suitable for people who rarely have sex, for example if you only have sex when travelling abroad, only have sex at weekends etc.
How can I start PrEP?
You can contact the Olafia Clinic for an appointment to discuss PrEP and your wish to start on PrEP treatment. It is important to map your sexual habits in order to give you the best possible treatment and follow-up.
We are two nurses and two doctors who conduct PrEP assessment interviews, and if you start taking PrEP, you will meet one of us four at all your consultations.
We hold assessment interviews for PrEP every Thursday. On Fridays, we hold follow-up consultations.
In parallel with PrEP being made available, a study is being initiated to evaluate the service. You will be given information about this study and will be invited to participate.
How do I contact the Olafia Clinic to schedule an appointment for assessment for PrEP/PrEP?
How are people who start PrEP treatment followed up?
If you start PrEP treatment, it is very important that you come for a check-up every three months. We need to map your experience of using the medication, and you can raise any questions or problems associated with its use that you want to discuss. It is also important to test you and, if necessary, treat you for any STIs. In addition, we have to take blood samples every three months to check your renal function. We also check your bone mineralisation once a year. These check-ups are important, as the medication could affect these functions.
It is in connection with these check-ups that your prescription for PrEP medication can be renewed if you wish to continue using it.
Several studies have shown that PrEP offers a high degree of protection against HIV infection, but it is not a 100% guarantee against infection.
PrEP does not protect users against other STIs. It is therefore recommended to use PrEP in combination with condoms, regular testing every three months and treatment of STIs.