swissPRePared

Update on the COVID-19 pandemic

new Corona-Virus/SARS-CoV-2

The current situation is a challenge to us all. The rule of “social distancing” is important in order to control this pandemic. In addition to the steps mentioned by the federal office of public health (BAG), this rule also includes sexual contacts with changing sexual partners. Therefore, we currently advise everyone to avoid changing sexual partners at this point.

On the internet and on social media there are rumors that the use of PrEP is protective of a Coronavirus transmission. This is not true. PrEP does not protect from a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Due to the current situation, many of PrEP users have decided to temporarily stop PrEP. Doctors and clinics are also asked to postpone all medical routine controls to avoid transmissions in the waiting rooms or on the way to the clinic. We do not know how long this situation will last and we are aware that there will be sexual contact during this difficult time.

In this light, here is are some helpful advices:

  • If you decide to stop your PrEP intake, please make sure that intake is sufficiently long after your last sexual contact (https://drgay.ch/safer-sex/vorbeugen/prep)
  • (Cis-)men that have sex with men, that decided to stop PrEP, can still protect themselves with the On-Demand PrEP (2-1-1) if there is a sexual contact planned. (https://drgay.ch/safer-sex/vorbeugen/prep)
  • If you have a PrEP appointment scheduled in the next few days, please contact your affiliated center to ask if it can be rescheduled. If additional PrEP is needed, please ask them for the prescription.
  • If you currently have symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection, and your affiliated center is closed, please contact another center within the SwissPrEPared network to see if they have availability for treatment.
  • Checkpoint Zürich is currently planning a pilot project for home STD and HIV testing. The test-kit will be sent to your home; samples will be taken by oneself and will be sent directly to the laboratory. Depending on the outcome of this pilot project we hope to implement home testing for every SwissPrEPared centers in the near future.

Please also note that most of the doctors within the SwissPrEPared network are Infectious Disease specialists and are therefore working very hard right now in the fight against COVID-19. Due to this, they may not be as reachable/available as usual. We appreciate your understanding.

PrEP available in SwissPrEPared!

Aside from the existing sources, PrEP will be available from October 14 within the SwissPrEPared program in all participating centres.

This is how it works:

The prescription will be sent to a central pharmacy after the medical check-up. The medication is then conveniently delivered to your home within a few days. You can order up to 3 packs at once. Billing is done via an invoice directly with the pharmacy and not with the SwissPrEPared centre. Deliveries to an alternative address (e.g. to the place of work) are also possible.

News feed

  • Temporarily recruitment stop due to limited capacity at Checkpoint Zürich and Centre Kalkbreite @ SwissPrEPared – January 24, 2020
  • SwissPrEPared started at Dermatology Centre Zurich @ SwissPrEPared – January 23, 2020
  • 1376 participants enrolled! @ SwissPrEPared – January 22, 2020
  • 801 participants enrolled! @ SwissPrEPared – November 14, 2019
  • SwissPrEPared started at Checkpoint Lausanne @ SwissPrEPared – November 5, 2019
  • 661 participants enrolled! @ SwissPrEPared – November 1, 2019
  • SwissPrEPared started at Lausanne University Hospital & Geneva University Hospitals @ SwissPrEPared – October 31, 2019
  • SwissPrEPared started at Checkpoint Bern @ SwissPrEPared – October 14, 2019
  • 333 participants enrolled! @ SwissPrEPared – October 10, 2019
  • SwissPrEPared started at Universitätsspital Basel @ SwissPrEPared – September 27, 2019
  • SwissPrEPared started at Kantonsspital St. Gallen @ SwissPrEPared – September 10, 2019
  • 180 participants enrolled @ SwissPrEPared – August 20 2019
  • SwissPrEPared started at University Hospital Zurich @ University Hospital Zurich – August 15 2019
  • 125 participants enrolled @ SwissPrEPared – July 30 2019
  • SwissPrEPared started in next Center @ Arztpraxis Kalkbreite – July 22 2019
  • 75 participants enrolled! @ Checkpoint Zurich – June 11 2019
  • Enrollment start @ Zentrum Kalkbreite and University Hospital of Zurich – coming soon!
  • 50 participants enrolled! @ Checkpoint Zurich – May 22 2019
  • Enrollment start @ Checkpoint Zurich – April 10 2019

 

What is PrEP?

PrEP is the abbreviation for Pre Exposition Prophylaxis.

It is a drug that effectively protects against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), if taken correctly. PrEP is generally well tolerated, but like any medication, it has risks and side effects and should therefore only be taken under medical supervision. PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections. These often go unnoticed because they may cause no or very mild symptoms, especially in the early stages. If left untreated, however, they can lead to serious complications. Therefore PrEP users, but also all other people who have sex with more than one person, should have themselves regularly tested for sexually transmitted infections.

Unsure if PrEP is right for you? Then do the HIV risk check.

You can find more information about PrEP on our Link page.

And swissPrEPared?

Better care for people with increased risk

The aim of Swiss PrEPared is to provide anyone with an increased risk of contracting HIV with the best care possible, regardless of PrEP use, and to prevent new HIV infections. To achieve this, SwissPrEPared consists of two complementary parts: 1. The first is a program designed to improve the quality of advice given by doctors and other health care providers. 2. The second is a study with the aim of scientifically answering important questions about PrEP and other relevant health topics. Swiss PrEPared is therefore a joint venture between partners from the community and basic and clinical science.

The SwissPrEPared Program

Many of you have told us about situations in which you felt that you had not received optimal advice from your health care provider. Be it that your doctors were not always up to date on PrEP and HIV, or that they did not know how to talk about PrEP and sexual health, your needs were not met. We want to support all doctors who prescribe PrEP to improve the overall quality of care for people with an increased HIV risk.

Here’s the deal:

Questionnaire: If you join SwissPrEPared, you will fill out a questionnaire before each visit. This will help ensure that no important topic is forgotten and that all important checks are carried out.

Doctor training: Your doctors will be regularly trained as part of the program and will always receive the latest information from HIV and PrEP research.

Feedback: Beside the questionnaire, you can always tell us your needs and concerns at any time (link to the contact form). Your help will improve the care of the community.

Always up to date: Just like your doctors, you will receive regular information on PrEP and sexual health. In addition, we will support you in taking PrEP and will remind you about upcoming check-ups.

At the political level, we are committed to improving access to PrEP in Switzerland and to reducing the cost of medical check-ups.

The SwissPrEPared Study

PrEP works! If taken correctly, it reduces the risk of an HIV infection by 99%. This is scientifically proven. But because PrEP is relatively new, there are still many unanswered questions.

  • What influence will PrEP have on the HIV epidemic in Switzerland?
  • How do we reach the people who need PrEP most?
  • How does sexuality change when you are on PrEP?
  • How can we reduce the number of other sexually transmitted diseases?
  • How can we ensure that PrEP is taken as prescribed?
  • What other needs do people who belong to a sexual minority have for the health system?
  • What are the long-term effects of PrEP on people who do not have HIV (in people with HIV, we have known the drug for 20 years)?