PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) involves the use of anti-HIV drugs, taken before sex to reduce the chances of someone becoming infected with HIV.

Is PrEP available to gay and bisexual men on the NHS in Scotland?

Yes. Gay and bisexual men, and other men who have sex with men, who are at the greatest risk of HIV are now able to access PrEP on the NHS in Scotland.

Each of Scotland’s 14 NHS boards are in the process of rolling out local services to support men who wish to be assessed for PrEP.

If you think that you might benefit from PrEP, or are looking for information and advice, you can speak with one of the health improvement team at SX to find out more. You can also find contact details for your local sexual health clinic here

Along with partner organisations, we are supporting www.prep.scot, an online source of information about PrEP, including details of the eligibility criteria the NHS will use.

You can also always contact the SX team for information and advice.

Where can you get PrEP?

PrEP on the NHS will be provided through local sexual health clinics, and will only offered to those at the greatest risk of HIV. When you visit a clinic you will be assessed for PrEP by a doctor who will discuss your suitability.   

Who can access PrEP on the NHS?

Ultimately, decisions on who can access PrEP will be made by doctors at sexual health clinics on a case by case basis. However, there are some key factors that will be taken in to account. 

Individuals must meet all of the universal criteria plus at least one of the additional criteria below: 

Universal criteria - (an individual must meet all of the following):

  • be aged 16 or over
  • have tested HIV negative
  • be able to attend a sexual health clinic for regular 3 monthly review, including for monitoring, sexual health care and support, and to collect prescriptions
  • be willing to stop NHS-funded PrEP if the eligibility criteria no longer apply
  • be resident in Scotland

Additional criteria - (an individual must meet at least one of the following):

  • Individuals with current sexual partners, irrespective of gender, who are HIV positive and with a detectable viral load.
  • Men who have sex with men*, and transgender women with a documented bacterial rectal STI in the last 12 months.
  • Men who have sex with men*, and transgender women reporting condomless penetrative anal sex with two or more partners in the last 12 months and likely to do so again in the next three months.
  • Individuals, irrespective of gender, at an equivalent highest risk of HIV acquisition, as agreed with a specialist clinician.

*The term 'Men who have sex with men' used here includes gay and bisexual men, other MSM and transgender men who have male sexual partners

What if I'm not eligible? Can I still access PrEP? 

There will be some people who are not eligible who would still like to take PrEP.

Some people choose to buy PrEP online at a cost of around £50 for each month’s supply.

If you get, or intend to get your PrEP online, you can have your monitoring done at sexual health clinics in Scotland, including the Chalmers Centre. We can also give you advice on PrEP and whether it is an option for you.

UK community websites have lots of information about PrEP and how to buy it online:

We cannot state that there is absolutely no risk if you choose to buy PrEP online because the PrEP is not sourced directly from the manufacturers. At SX, our health improvement team can help you understand what is involved in self-supplying PrEP. Get in touch here.

Does PrEP prevent other STIs?

No, PrEP will only reduce the chance of you becoming infected with HIV. The best way to reduce your risk of HIV and other STIs is to use condoms and lube correctly, especially when fucking.