If you’re on PrEP but you’ve decided that you’re no longer hooking up with other guys during the COVID-19 lockdown, we answer whether it is safe to just stop taking the meds.

It’s official, well actually doctor’s orders, you really shouldn’t be having sex with anyone new to you and outside of your current living arrangement during the coronavirus outbreak.

The medical director of Terrence Higgins Trust, Doctor Michael Brady, warned yesterday that people have to stop hooking up during the Government-mandated Covid-19 lockdown.

But if you’re currently on a course of PrEP medication and you’ve decided to heed his words, is it safe to just stop taking them?

Can you just stop taking PrEP?

According to THT, many people will be choosing not to take PrEP during lockdown, which is okay, providing you don’t have a specific need like you’re having sex with a partner who has a detectable viral load.

Guidance from THT states, if you’re a gay / bi cis-male “it’s safe to stop taking PrEP as long as you stop after two full days after you last had sex”.

If you’re a trans woman, a cis-female, trans man or someone who identifies as non-binary it is advised you wait until seven full days, after you last had sex, before stopping PrEP.

How can I start on PrEP again?

Is it safe to just stop taking PrEP medication?

According to THT advice, “When you’re ready to re-start PrEP, cis gay and bisexual men can re-start with a double dose taken two to 24 hours before sex. For everyone else, you need to re-start with a daily dose for seven days before having sex again”.

Of course, if you’re concerned about your medication and want further guidance, you should speak to your GP or sexual health advisors.

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