PrEP: The Basics

PrEP (short for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is the use of anti-HIV medications to keep HIV negative people from becoming contracting HIV. PrEP is FDA approved and has been shown to be safe and effective when it comes to the prevention of HIV. Even though PrEP has been around in the United States since 2012, many people are still looking to learn more about how it works.

Daily PrEP lowers the risk of contracting HIV from sex by over 90% and by more than 70% among those who inject drugs. Your risk of getting HIV from sex can be lowered even more by combining PrEP with condoms and/or other prevention methods.

PrEP is not something that’s taken for life. It’s normally taken for anywhere from a few months to a few years, during periods of time when a person feels the most at risk of getting HIV. Examples of these time periods could be during specific relationships, dating new people, knowing you will be sexually active with new people whose status you don’t know, dealing with drug use problems, or while trying to conceive with an HIV-positive partner.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has a informative video with more information on how PrEP works, how to get it, and if it’s the right choice for you. You can find the video here: