PrEP

PrEP is a protection option against HIV. PrEP stands for “pre-exposure prophylaxis”. This is a medication. The method has been scientifically tested and, when used correctly, protects against HIV infection just as well as condoms. However, PrEP only protects against HIV and not against other sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis or hepatitis.

At the Checkpoint, we offer you PrEP start counselling sessions and the necessary routine checks.

From July: PrEP via health insurance

From 1 July 2024, PrEP can be fully covered by basic health insurance. The insurance company initially covers the costs during an evaluation phase in which PrEP is assessed for its benefits and cost-effectiveness. Only then will it be decided whether PrEP will be permanently covered by basic insurance. This evaluation is carried out by the SwissPrEPared programme.

Frequently asked questions FAQ

It is important that you only take PrEP under medical supervision to avoid developing resistance and side effects such as kidney damage, and that you are tested for STIs every three months.

The Federal Office of Public Health has placed certain restrictions on who is covered by basic insurance for PrEP and who is not. Whether you have any restrictions can be clarified during the initial consultation.

As with all medical services in Switzerland, costs are incurred. These are also claimed for PrEP.

The cost contribution consists of three parts:

  1. Premium: You pay a monthly fee. The amount of the premium depends on various factors (e.g. place of residence). If you have a low income, you can check whether you are entitled to a premium reduction in your canton of residence.
  2. Franchise: You can choose each year how much you pay yourself before your health insurance covers it. The higher this deductible, the lower your monthly premium.
  3. Deductible: As soon as you have paid off your deductible, you will be charged 10% of your healthcare costs on an ongoing basis – up to a maximum amount of CHF 700 per year.

No. PrEP is covered by basic insurance and must therefore be paid for by every health insurance company if you fulfil the requirements.

Maybe. The lowest deductible often makes more financial sense: HIV-PrEP taken on a daily basis already incurs healthcare costs of up to CHF 2,500. As soon as other costs are added, e.g. STI treatment, psychotherapy or pneumonia, the lowest deductible is financially worthwhile for you – even if the monthly premium is then higher.

In any case, choose either the lowest (CHF 300) or the highest (CHF 2,500) franchise; anything in between is financially disadvantageous. You can adjust the franchise for the following year until 30 November.

This is still possible at Checkpoint Zurich.

No, your participation in the SwissPrEPared programme has no influence on the billing of PrEP. However, only medical practices, hospitals or health centres that participate in SwissPrEPared can bill. The more people take part in the programme, the more can be said about the benefits of PrEP during the evaluation phase. This runs from 1 July 2024 to 31 December 2026. Only then will it be decided whether PrEP will be permanently covered by basic health insurance.

Your personal data collected by SwissPrEPared will not be passed on.

However, the health insurance company can ask your doctor whether you belong to one of the eligible groups – and to which group. Doctors are obliged to pass this information on to the insurance company in the event of enquiries.

Negotiations are still ongoing here.

No, this programme ends when the insurance company covers PrEP. However, we regularly negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers. We will always pass on any negotiated discount to you

PrEP start: Initial consultation

PrEP is prescribed by a healthcare professional. Before starting PrEP, a medical consultation takes place. HIV and STI tests are carried out and further blood levels are also checked. It is important that you are HIV-negative. If not, there is a danger of infecting other people and developing resistance.

We can offer you an appointment promptly.

PrEP follow-up appointment

Once you have started with PrEP, you should have regular check-ups to see if you are experiencing any side effects; you should also have a STI test. This is why it is worth having a regular discussion with a healthcare professional. The PrEP is usually very well tolerated, even when taken over a longer period of time. For people using the daily PrEP a 3-montly clinical follow-up visit is recommended. If PrEP is not used on a daily base, frequency of clinical follow-up visits can differ.

Are you already a PrEP client at Checkpoint Zurich? Contact us for an appointment.

You want to change your SwissPrEPared centre?

PrEP clients can change the SwissPrEared centre during the course of the study. It is best to contact your centre for this. It then arranges for the change to Checkpoint Zurich. We need your SwissPrEPard ID for the change of centre. You can find the ID in SwissPrEPared’s SMS.

Book your PrEP appointment now

How do I take PrEP?

PrEP effectively protects against HIV, provided you take the tablets every day. It is also important to start and stop correctly.

Do you enjoy spontaneous sex?
At parties or sometimes via an app? In such cases, we recommend taking PrEP without interruption. This way, you are constantly protected and do not have to plan ahead.

Periods without sex?
Then you can take PrEP breaks. The important thing here is that you start correctly and that you continue taking the tablets for a long enough period after the last time you had sex.

Suitable for everyone:

Suitable for cisgender men only:

How does PrEP work?

HIV enters the body through the genital and anal mucosa. You already have a natural protection in the mucous membrane of your mouth, which is why practically no transmission of HIV occurs during oral sex. With the mucous membranes in the penis, the vagina and the anus, you must protect yourself with condoms or PrEP. With PrEP there are two variants for the start and the finish. The variant that suits you, depends in part on your physical characteristics. You can find out more about this in a counselling session. In order for PrEP to work and to make sure that you are protected from HIV, you must start with PrEP on time. It is equally important that you take PrEP for a long enough period after the last time you had sex.