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What is PrEP? for HIV prevention

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PrEP means Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and it’s the use of anti-HIV medication that keeps HIV negative people from becoming infected.
PrEP is approved by the FDA and has been shown to be safe and effective. A single pill taken once daily, it is highly effective against HIV when taken every day.

The medication interferes with HIV’s ability to copy itself in your body after you’ve been exposed. This prevents it from establishing an infection and making you sick.

Even though PrEP has been around in the U.S. for over a year, not a lot of people know about it. And, even fewer people feel like they know enough about it to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to use it. For those who do use it, the information they have might be more focused on practical issues, like where to get it, rather than on what PrEP does in the body to prevent HIV infection.

How does PrEP stop HIV?

PrEP contains the same medicines that people with HIV use to stay healthy. If you are exposed to HIV, these medicines can stop the virus from multiplying and spreading throughout your body. PrEP only works if you have enough medicine in your body, so you need to take PrEP every day.

Should I consider taking PrEP?

PrEP is for people who are HIV-negative, have a high risk of being exposed to HIV through sex or drug injection, and are ready to take a daily pill.

Studies have shown that PrEP works for sexually-active gay and bisexual men, heterosexual women and men, and injection drug users, and is also likely to benefit transgender women. PrEP can help protect anyone whose partner has HIV.

Can I take PrEP only on the days when I have sex?

No. You must take PrEP every day to keep enough medicine in your body to protect you from HIV.
Source:New York City Department of Health and Hygiene/SoyHomosensual

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