HIV: What Is PrEP?

Image of blue pills

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. PrEP involves taking one pill every day to prevent HIV through sex or sharing injection drug use equipment. The brand name of the pill used is Truvada. Truvada is actually two HIV medications combined into one pill. People who have HIV are often treated with Truvada along with other medications to treat HIV. One way people who do not have HIV can prevent HIV is by taking PrEP.

Only a doctor or other qualified medical provider can prescribe PrEP. If you decide to take PrEP, your initial doctor’s visit will include medical tests to make sure that taking Truvada is right for you. Once you start taking PrEP, you need to return to your doctor or medical provider every three months to be tested for sexually transmitted infections and HIV, and to get a prescription refill.

PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy. It reduces the risk of getting HIV but it does not eliminate it. It is best to use PrEP with other prevention methods, such as using condoms or always using new injection drug equipment.

To learn more about PrEP, see the following information.

Last Revised: October 22, 2019