Q and A

Question

Can I buy ARVs from a pharmacy without a prescription?

I am away a lot for work and find it hard to get to the clinic. Can I buy ARVs from the pharmacy? I live in South Africa.

Answer

Thanks for getting in touch and for letting us post your question online.

All countries are supposed to need a prescription to buy HIV drugs. This includes In South Africa.

In some countries you might be able to buy some meds over the counter without a prescription (even if it is not legal). If you can do this, please make sure that you buy exactly the same meds that you usually take.

If you’re having access issues, please talk to your doctor.

Explain your situation, ask to have a few months of meds, even up to six months. This is now common in many countries. Often this is because of COVID.

Things have changed now in many countries, including South Africa.

Instead of being given a month at a time it is more common to get med for 2-6 months.

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