PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis, which is the use of daily HIV medications to lower the risk of becoming infected with HIV.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , PrEP used consistently may reduce the risk of becoming infected with HIV from sex by over 90% and for intravenous drug users, the risk is reduced by over 70%. PrEP may also help prevent someone who is HIV-negative getting HIV from his/her partner who is HIV-positive.
Combining PrEP with condoms helps increase protection even more.
There are two medications, when used as a combination, that are approved for daily use as PrEP. Tenofovir and emtricitabine are combined into one prescription medication, Truvada®. Truvada® is the brand name of the generic medicine emtricitabine/tenofovir. This fixed-dose medication is a combination of two antiretroviral medications called tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine and is prescribed for the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Brand-name Truvada is available in the following strength and amounts:
Truvada® 200 mg/300 mg – 30 tablets, 60 tablets, or 90 tablets.
Emtricitabine/tenofovir is available in the following strength and amounts:
Emtricitabine/tenofovir – 200 mg/300 mg – 30 tablets, 60 tablets, or 90 tablets.
Consumers are encouraged to realize that both the generic and the brand name products contain the exact same active ingredients. However, the generic medication is much cheaper.
It is important to note that PrEP does not protect you from STDs, such as chlamydia, genital herpes, HPV or syphilis.
PrEP also does not prevent pregnancy or cure HIV/AIDS.
PrEP is only for pre-exposure to HIV. It is Important to know that HIV-1 tests may come back as negative in those who have recently been exposed to the HIV-1 virus. If you become ill with flu-like symptoms within the last 30 days before starting PrEP, you must tell your doctor.
PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is an option if you think you may have been exposed to HIV within the last 72hours. PEP is taking antiretroviral medications after possible exposure to HIV to prevent infection. PEP is taken every day, once or twice per day, for a 28 day period. Speak to your doctor about PEP and what it may mean to you.
Learn more about PrEP by watching this video from the Centers for Disease Control.
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