What is PrEP?
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is when people at very high risk for HIV take HIV medicines daily to lower their chances of getting infected . PrEP is approved for daily use as PrEP to help prevent an HIV-negative person from getting HIV from a sexual or injection-drug-using partner who’s positive. Studies have shown that PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV if it is used as prescribed. PrEP is much less effective when it is not taken consistently.
Who Should Take PrEP
If you are HIV negative and at high risk of HIV and don’t always use condoms, then PrEP can reduce your risk of HIV.
Other factors related to a higher risk of HIV include:
- A recent STI (especially rectal infection or syphilis).
- Recent need for PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).
- Using recreational drugs used for ChemSex (crystal meth, mephedrone and GHB).
- If your HIV positive partner is finding it difficult to be adherent to their HIV meds.
What to know about PrEP
- When starting PrEP, it takes at least seven days to reach high levels of protection against HIV.
- When stopping PrEP, individuals should continue using PrEP for four weeks after the last significant exposure.
- PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections (STI) or pregnancy. It is not a cure for HIV.