What you should know about Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
13 October 2021
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is a type of HIV prevention medication. When used as directed, PrEP is very successful at preventing HIV.
PrEP reduces the risk of contracting HIV through intercourse by nearly 100% and lowers the risk of contracting HIV from injecting drugs by at least 74%.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a treatment that HIV-negative people take to prevent infection.
If you take PrEP correctly, your chances of contracting HIV are nearly none.
Other sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs), such as hepatitis C, are not protected by PrEP. Condoms are still the best way to avoid contracting these STIs.
PrEP isn't taken for the rest of one's life; it's only used for a short time while a person is at danger of contracting HIV.
There are currently just two FDA-approved daily oral medications.
-Emtricitabine (F) 200 mg in combination with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) 300 mg (F-TDF; brand name Truvada
-Emtricitabine (F) 200 mg in combination with tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) 25 mg (F-TAF; brand name Descovy. (has not yet been studied for HIV prevention for receptive vaginal sex)
Unlike HIV treatment, people do not have to take PrEP for the rest of their lives. PrEP is usually used for a few weeks, months, or years when a person feels most at risk of contracting HIV.
Who is eligible to use PrEP?
· PrEP is for HIV-negative people who are at a higher risk of infection.
· PrEP can be used by both trans and cisgender men and women.
· You have a sexual relationship with an HIV positive partner who does not have an undetectable viral load.
· You're a homosexual or bisexual male in a new sexual relationship who doesn't always use condoms and isn't aware of your partner's HIV status.
How to know if PrEP is a Good Option for You-
· If you are HIV-negative and have had anal or vaginal sex in the previous 6 months, PrEP may be beneficial to you.
· Have a sexual partner with HIV (particularly if the partner's viral load is unknown or detectable), haven't used a condom in the past 6 months, or have been diagnosed with an STD.
Is PrEP Safe?
PrEP is completely risk-free. People who are HIV-negative and have taken PrEP for up to 5 years have shown no significant health effects.
Some people who take PrEP may experience side effects such as nausea, but these are usually minor and fade away over time.