What is Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)?

A:

PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and is one option to prevent HIV! PrEP means 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. Currently, PrEP is available as a single pill. The first approved pill in Canada is called Truvada. Now, generic forms of this pill are available. 

PrEP is made up of two medications, tenofovir and emtricitabine, that are also used to treat HIV for those of us living with HIV. Both of these medications are combined in a single pill. There are a few companies that produce this pill. BC's publicly funded PrEP program is giving people a generic form of this medication that is approved for use by Health Canada.

‘Pre-Exposure’ indicates that the medication must be taken before, during, and after potential exposure to HIV. ‘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 in our bodies.


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!