Sexual health organizations are also suggesting people may take a break from PrEP during the pandemic.
People who are self-isolating and not having sex do not need to take the drug, which reduces the chances of getting HIV if taken properly.
Of course, some may still need PrEP. For example if they live with a sexual partner who they aren’t 100% sure is HIV negative, or a partner with HIV who still has a high viral load. Those who are HIV positive with an undetectable viral load can’t pass HIV on.
Leading UK sexual health clinic Dean Street advises people how to stop taking daily PrEP safely.
If you are taking it to protect yourself during sex, you can safely stop PrEP if you have had two daily doses since your last risk (or the last time you had sex).
Meanwhile, if you are taking it because you share injection needles, you should continue PrEP for seven days after the last risk before stopping.
Dean Street says you can also restart PrEP very quickly. You should just take two PrEP tablets. You’ll have protection for anal sex two hours later. Then you must continue taking PrEP once a day every day for at least two days after your last risk.
Likewise, ‘event-based PrEP’ is also suitable. But only for people whose main HIV risk is from anal sex without condoms.
For event-based PrEP, take two tablets and you’ll be protected two hours later. Continue to take PrEP daily for as long as you are having sex. You can stop once you’ve taken two daily doses since your last risk.