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.