PrEP, or Pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a way for people who do not have HIV to prevent getting HIV. This treatment, designed for people who are at substantial risk of getting HIV infection, consists of taking a pill every day. The pill (brand name Truvada) contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) that are used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through high risk behaviors, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection.
When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. PrEP is much less effective if it is not taken consistently. People who use PrEP must commit to taking the drug every day and seeing their health care provider for follow-up every 3 months.
PrEP is a powerful HIV prevention tool and that can be combined with condoms and other prevention methods to provide even greater protection than when used alone.