What is Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)?


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.

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