I heard about meds to help me stay HIV-negative


PrEP is one of the newest HIV-related acronyms! It stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. PrEP is an HIV prevention strategy whereby those of us who are HIV-negative take HIV medications on a daily basis before, and continuing after, activities where there is a possibility of getting HIV.

‘Pre-Exposure’ indicates that the medication must be taken prior to, and continuing after, potential exposure to HIV, and ‘prophylaxis’ is a word to describe medications that can prevent infection. PrEP works by making it harder for HIV to establish itself once the virus is our bodies.

The brand name of the medication currently used for PrEP is Truvada. Truvada is a pill that combines the anti-HIV medications tenofovir and emtricitabine. Initially used to treat people living with HIV, Truvada was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use as PrEP in 2012. While Truvada is approved by Health Canada for use as HIV treatment, it has not been approved for use as PrEP. 

For more details about PrEP, visit www.youthco.org/prep.

YouthCO's office is located on the unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh people. Our programs take place on unceded, ancestral, and traditional territories of many Indigenous nations across what is now called BC.

YouthCO believes that all youth have the right to accessible and affirming information about our health. We also know each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, sex, sexuality, substance use, and harm reduction. For many of us, the words other people use for our bodies and their functions are not the words we use for ourselves. Throughout our website, YouthCO uses words for bodies and sex that we know will not reflect the full diversity of our communities. We have tried to, where possible, be as expansive with our language as we know how to while being as specific as possible. As youth leading the HIV movement, we too are learning about the best words for our experiences and do not do this perfectly. We invite any feedback about the language used on our website to help us move forward in the best ways for all youth in our communities!