Since 2020, everyone can have free prescriptions for treatments for all STIs and HIV.
Make sure any antiviral prescription from a GP is endorsed with ‘FS.’ There is no need for the GP to write anything else on it.
From the prescribing team in the Dept. of Health and Social Care:
This is to “enable prescribers to endorse the FP10 prescription form to show the pharmacist that the item(s) prescribed are for free-of-charge treatment for a sexually transmitted infection (STI)… Because we understand that treatment for STIs is increasingly being provided by prescriptions from GPs and we want to make sure that people aren’t charged a prescription charge for this treatment which the law says must be given for free.
“A new prescriber endorsement ‘FS’ has been introduced for ‘free supply of sexual health treatment’ to enable prescribers to endorse prescriptions for STIs to indicate to dispensers that the patient should not be charged.” Read the details on https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/changes-fp10-nhs-prescription-form – the bottom bullet point deals with FS.
Local authorities were charged with providing free diagnosis and treatment for all VDs in 1917. (VDs stands for venereal diseases, as they were called back then.) Ever since, the free and confidential STI service has continued. From 1948 clinics were run by the National Health.
However, STI provision has moved back, out of the NHS and under local authorities again. Some GP surgeries were contracted by local authorities to provide STI services. That meant prescription charges for people seeing GPs. The anomaly had to be corrected.
Then the amendment in 2020 came in. So, ask for your antiviral prescription to be endorsed FS and get it free.