How SH.UK's PrEP service works

Our PrEP service is currently available as a pilot in East Sussex to people who do not are not living with HIV. You can take a short online consultation with SH.UK to determine whether this could be right for you.

If eligible, our sexual health nurse will take you through a phone consultation and can answer any questions you might have too.

Firstly, you will need to test your kidney function to make sure it’s safe for you and take an HIV test, too. We can provide a kit to test both of these for you and will let you know your results.

Once your prescription for PrEP is approved we can deliver it to a place of your choice, including a local Lloyds Pharmacy or local clinic.

Taking the liver function test for PrEP

Why do I need to take a kidney function test?

Using PrEP can occasionally affect your kidneys so we need to know if you have normal kidney function or if you’re taking any other medicine that may affect your kidneys. We will provide you with a finger-prick blood sample kit and instructions on how to take the sample.

The test measures the level of creatinine in your blood. Creatinine is a waste product from the digestion of proteins and is removed from the blood by your kidneys. It’s normal for creatinine to be present in your blood but if the blood level is higher than normal it can be a sign of a kidney problem.

When should I take the sample?

You can take your sample any time but there are a couple of things you should consider before taking it:

  • If you take creatine or protein supplements (often used for bodybuilding or exercise) you should wait until at least 24 hours after you had your last one before taking the test. These supplements can artificially make creatinine levels in your blood higher which could give a falsely high result and make it look like your kidneys are struggling.
  • Drink a few glasses of water or a non-caffeinated drink before taking the test. Dehydration can also make creatinine levels higher than they would usually be.

Can I use SH.UK’s PrEP service?

If you live in East Sussex you may be able to use our PrEP service. Your online consultation

The service is not currently available in all parts of the UK, we will update our website as more areas join the service.

Why do I need to test for HIV to use this service?

PrEP is not suitable for people with an HIV infection. This is because the medication only uses 2 antiviral drugs used to treat people who are HIV positive (along with other medications). Taking them alone could make HIV treatment less effective.

Do I have to get this delivered to my home?

You can tell us where you’d like your order to be delivered. If easier for you, you can pick your medicine up from a Lloyds Pharmacy of your choice.

I currently get PrEP from my local sexual health clinic, can I order it instead?

Currently, this is available only to people who haven’t been using an NHS PrEP service.