- When used correctly and consistently, latex condoms are highly effective in protecting against HIV and many other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- For added protection, PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis – a once daily pill available by prescription – is another very effective prevention option for those who do not have HIV.
- Ongoing antiretroviral (ARV) treatment also plays an important role in the prevention of HIV, making it significantly less likely for someone who has HIV to pass the virus to others.
PrEP is for people who do not have HV to help reduce the risk of getting HIV in the future. It is intended for use by anyone at risk of being exposed to HIV through sex or injecting drugs, who are ready to take a daily pill. PrEP provides added protection for someone whose partner has HIV.
People who use PrEP must commit to taking it every day and seeing their health care provider for follow-up and testing every three months.
PrEP is currently approved for people who are 18 years of age and older.
Both PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) are medications for people who do not have HIV to help protect against HIV. One big difference is that PrEP is taken before you are potentially exposed to HIV, and PEP is an emergency medication taken as soon as possible after you may have been exposed to HIV. PEP is intended as an emergency response, not as an ongoing protective measure. PrEP is intended for ongoing use.
Both PrEP and PEP are only available by prescription. Talk with a health care provider about whether PrEP or PEP is an option for you and to get guidance on use and effectiveness.