PrEP – The Other Little Blue Pill

PrEP – The Other Little Blue Pill

Here at McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy, we take pride in our community and are committed to promoting health and wellbeing to all. We want to take this moment to educate on an important product available in Ireland. This blog post is written by Mike, our store manager in our Charlemont store.

PrEP is a medication taken by HIV-negative people to reduce the chance of getting HIV. The medication used for PrEP is a tablet which contains Tenofovir and Emtricitabine (sometimes known as Truvada).

As a gay man in Ireland in 2019, I have chosen to take PrEP to help prevent myself from contracting HIV. I do this in conjunction with other safe sexual practices as I know that this alone will not protect me against any other STDs.

PrEP is proven to be safe and very effective to stop HIV from establishing itself inside the body.  Taking PrEP once every day reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90% and by more than 70% among people who use needles. PrEP stops HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body

After talking to friends, I decided to visit my nearest sexual health clinic* and ask about starting to use PrEP and what options were available to me as well as where I could find it.

I attended the clinic and was taken through exactly what my PrEP journey would look like: what options I had and where I could get it.

The clinic takes place on Thursdays from 10am to 12pm offering PrEP monitoring tests and support for men who have sex with men, rapid HIV tests and full STI screenings.  This is a PrEP monitoring service only and PrEP is not available at the clinic. They can write prescriptions for PrEP which can be dispensed at your local pharmacy**.

preppill

I have now been on PrEP for over a year and have chosen to get my prescriptions filled at a pharmacy as I have access to advice and any after care as well as knowing the product will be meeting quality standards. I return to the clinic every three months for a full screening and to see how PrEP affects me. I have been very fortunate not to have any side effects but do consult a pharmacist before taking so they can advise you on the side effects and benefits of taking PrEP.

Stop into your nearest McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy as they offer personal, private 1-1 consultations and can help you decide if PrEP is right for you. Wishing everyone a happy and safe Pride Month.

*Gay Men’s Health Service (GMHS), Tel: 01 669 9553; 087 941 0934; Email gmhsclinic@hse.ie

**From 4th December 2017, a generic version of the medication (Emtricitabine/Tenofovir disoproxil Teva) is available in pharmacies in the Republic of Ireland.

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