Let’s start at the beginning and break PrEP down.
“PrEP” stands for?Pre-Exposure?Prophylaxis.
Cool. But what does that even mean?
Pre-exposure: Before you come into contact with a disease
Prophylaxis: to prevent the spread of a disease
Put together, PrEP is a medical strategy that helps protect HIV-negative people from becoming infected.
Men or women prescribed PrEP take a daily pill to block the virus from taking hold in the body.
When taken correctly, the risk of getting HIV is 99% lower for those that take PrEP consistently. This means taking the pill every day, using a condom, and following the medical guidelines recommended by your doctor.
Heard rumors about PrEP and not sure what to think? See Busting PrEP Myths below.
PrEP is not a cure or a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. But when taken correctly, it helps protect you from getting HIV.
PrEP does not protect you from getting other STD’s, like syphilis, gonorrhea, or herpes.
PrEP is not a replacement for condoms. PrEP is designed to work with condoms. Unprotected anal, oral, and vaginal sex puts you at risk for HIV and other STD’s. PrEP is effective at preventing you from getting HIV when it is combined with condoms for anal, oral, and vaginal sex.
PrEP is not injected and does not work the same way as a vaccine. PrEP is a pill you take by mouth. A vaccine provides immunity from a disease by producing antibodies against that disease. PrEP is a combination of two drugs that block HIV from taking hold in your body, and it only works while you are taking the medication consistently.
PrEP is not a pill you pop right before sex. PrEP is an oral pill that must be taken every day. Consistency is the key to making PrEP effective.
PrEP cannot give you HIV. There is no virus in the medication.
If you have more questions, read on in the Q&A section.