What is Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)?

Pre-Exposure prophylaxis is taking medicine for people at at risk of HIV. It helps lower the chances of getting HIV. You must be HIV-negative before and while taking PrEP medications.

Which medications are approved for PrEP?

PrEP can be in the form of pills or injections

Pills for PrEP

Two pills are approved for use as PrEP: Truvada and Descovy.

Truvada is approved for people at risk through sex or injection drug use.

Descovy is approved for people at risk through sex. Descovy is not approved for people assigned female at birth who are at risk for HIV through receptive vaginal sex.

Injections for PrEP

Apretude is approved for use as PrEP. Apretude is for people at risk of contracting HIV through sex who weigh at least 77 pounds (35 kg).

Is PrEP effective at preventing HIV?

According to the CDC, PrEP reduces the risk of acquiring HIV from sex by about 99% when used correctly. There is less information about preventing HIV among people who inject drugs, but the data show that PrEP pills reduce the risk of getting HIV by at least 74% when taken as prescribed. PrEP shots are not recommended for people who inject drugs.

Who should consider PrEP?

PrEP can help reduce your risk of getting HIV if you don’t have HIV and any of the following apply to you:

  • You have had anal or vaginal sex in the past 6 months and you:
    • have a sexual partner with HIV (especially if the partner has an unknown or detectable viral load),
    • have not consistently used a condom, or
    • have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease in the past 6 months.
  • You inject drugs and you:
    • have an injection partner with HIV, or
    • share needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment (for example, cookers).
  • You have been prescribed PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and you:
    • report continued risk behavior, or
    • have used multiple courses of PEP.
  • You may choose to take PrEP, even if the behaviors listed above don’t apply to you. Talk to your doctor.

Schedule a PrEP consultation today

Call 973-763-7546 to schedule an appointment.