Written by Dr.Deyn Natthakhet Yaemim, 29 March 2020
Medically Reviewed and updated by Dr.Deyn Natthakhet Yaemim, 3 April 2020
Q: Can PrEP prevent or treat COVID-19?
A: NO! The PrEP can only prevent HIV, it does not prevent COVID-19. Do not increase your regular PrEP to prevent or treat COVID-19. It does not treat COVID-19 either. Do not share PrEP with anyone to prevent or treat COVID-19. There is no evidence to support the idea of HIV-negative people taking antiretrovirals to prevent anything else. PrEP is proved and recommended to prevent you from HIV infection – PrEP should be taken as directed and there is no current evidence that PrEP is effective against COVID-19.
Q: Is there going to be shortage of PrEP?
A: Not in Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
As of April 03, 2020, there were reports of manufacturing concerns in India about supply shortages and they want to increase price of medications but we have contacted Thai Government Pharmaceutical Organization and were reassured that there will be enough supply of PrEP and other HIV medicines. Some pharmaceutical companies sent us letter about increase of their cost of raw materials and these companies may announce the increase of price of some HIV medications but that will not happen to clients of PULSE CLINIC.
Q: Can I stock up my PrEP or HIV medications during lockdown?
A: Yes, you can. As WHO suggested that clinically stable PLHIV adults can benefit from ART delivery model that PULSE CLINIC provides which include multi month prescriptions (up to 6 month supply) which reduce the frequency of visits to hospitals and clinics and ensures continuity of treatment during possible disruption of movements and clinic schedule during the coronavirus outbreak. Contact PULSE CLINIC today to stock up your medications. This service is also provided to people who are taking PrEP for HIV prevention.
Q: Can I pause/stop my PrEP during lockdown?
A: Yes, you can if you're not having sex but are you sure you're not having sex?. As I told you on tips for PrEP users, PrEP is very flexible if your circumstances change. Before you stop, cis men (born men) should carry on taking PrEP for another two sex-free days (UK guidelines). Thai guidelines suggest that you take the pill for 28 more sex-free days. If you take PrEP for vaginal/frontal protection, you should take PrEP for seven sex-free days before you pause or stop.
Q: Can change from daily dose to PrEP on demand?
A: Yes, you can. Only if your PrEP is TDF/FTC (Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarat/Emtricitabine, that comes in many brands
such as TRUVADA, TENO-EM, and other PrEP made in India; Ricovir-Em,
Only cis men who have sex with other men can switch to PrEP on demand.
The new PrEP or Descovy (TAF/FTC, Tenofovir Alafenamide (TAF) 25 mg + emtricitabine (FTC) 200 mg) can not be used as PrEP on demand.
Q: How to take PrEP on demand?
A: 2 to 24 hours before sex, you take 2 pills.
Then you have sex. 24 hours after that, you take 1 pill.
24 hours later, you take 1 pill. That's it. Do it right, don't fuck it up.
Q: Will I still be able to get my regular STI check-up during this time?
A: Yes, of course. We provide the high quality friendly service as usual.
PULSE CLINICs in Thailand are OPEN EVERYDAY
Q: How can PULSE help me during COVID-19 pandemic?
A: PULSE CLINIC is general practitioner clinic with special experiences in sexual health and prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV and co-infections. Our clinic
is categorized as "necessary services" together with our intention to continue to provide the help to our pre-existing clients and people effected by COVID-19, We can help you with
- PrEP prescription and refill (as one stop service)
- Home delivery in case of emergency
- Regular check up
- STD/STIs Test-Treat-Follow up
During the outbreak of covid-19, if you need emergency help on HIV medications such as HIV treatment or PrEP, can not travel to
your hospital, or other emergency reasons, contact us for emergency assistance,
in BANGKOK and Thailand call +6626525097 or email@example.com,
in PHUKET call +6676633368 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
in HONG KONG call +85223898250 or email@example.com,
in MALAYSIA call +60321102122 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Or check out PULSE Network in other countries for your help.
"MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME" is an emergency campaign to help people living with HIV to stay safe on treatment, and helping PrEP users to have continuous care as well as reducing hospital visit and workload to healthcare providers throughout the region. Our delivery are fast and secured. Domestic delivery arrived safely within 2 days and international delivery arrived within 4-7 days. If you need help with refill your medication, contact PULSE team now.
Q: How can I restart PrEP?
A: If you didn't have sex since stopping, then it’s okay to restart PrEP as usual. Get tested for HIV again before you restart.
If you’re a cis man, you should take a double dose at least 2 hours before sex if you want to have sex straight away. Then continue with either daily dose or on demand (2-1-1) dosing.
Everyone else (women, transgenders) should take daily doses for seven days before sex for vaginal/frontal protection.
Q: If my hospital cancel my appointment, what can I do?
A: You can come to PULSE clinic. The COVID-19 outbreak is putting government hospital and government clinics under lot of pressure. Many appointments are being rearranged to allow government medical staff to focus on very sick patients.If you're not sick, don't go to the hospital.