What is HIV PrEP?
PrEP stands for “pre-exposure prophylaxis.” It’s a once-a-day pill that prevents infection from the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that is transmitted in semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and breast milk.
Truvada is a pill that is used for HIV PrEP. It can block HIV from infecting a person who has been exposed. In clinical studies, when taken daily, Truvada reduced the risk of HIV by 92% or more in people at high risk for infection. This was seen for all genders. It provided protection for risky anal or vaginal sex and for injection drug use. It is so effective that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Truvada in 2012 for the prevention of HIV.
For PrEP to work effectively, it must be taken every day, not just once before a risky situation. This is because to be protected, there needs to be a certain amount of the medicine in your body to stop HIV from causing a lifelong infection. PrEP will NOT protect against other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and herpes. For this reason, condoms are still recommended.