What is PrEP?

PrEP stands for pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis. It’s a way of preventing HIV infection by taking a pill on an ongoing basis before sex. It’s taken by someone who doesn’t have HIV, to prevent them from getting HIV. The PrEP pill is an antiretroviral drug – the same type of pill taken by someone who already has HIV to treat HIV.

What does PrEP involve?

PrEP is most commonly taken as a once-a-day pill of a drug called Truvada (a combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine). Truvada is one of the drugs commonly taken by someone with HIV as an HIV treatment. Trials have shown that PrEP works best when it is taken regularly – this ensures that levels of drug in the blood are high enough to be protective against HIV.

Does PrEP have to be taken every day?

Recent trials have also explored if oral PrEP might work if taken less regularly, particularly before and soon after sex. This way of taking PrEP might be more popular for people who know in advance when they are going to have sex. Many HIV researchers think there are still questions to be answered about taking PrEP on a non-daily basis. Click here for more information on daily and non-daily use of PrEP.

Latest News

Are you accessing PrEP support from clinics in England, Wales or Northern Ireland?

Have you been provided with FREE PrEP support - including tests such as kidney function tests - from an NHS… Read More

Scotland announces PrEP on the NHS

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (CSM) today announced that PrEP is deemed to be cost-effective and will become available on the… Read More

Public Health England (PHE) issues update on IMPACT PrEP trial

Following our update on the PHE PrEP trial in February, PHE have now released their own update on the trial… Read More