PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. It’s a pill, that is usually taken daily, that HIV-negative people can take to prevent HIV.
Taking PrEP before being exposed to HIV means there’s enough drug in your system to stop HIV if it gets into your body.
PrEP is a safe and well-tolerated drug and has been approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use by people who are HIV negative and at risk of HIV.
If taken as prescribed, PrEP reduces the risk of HIV transmission by almost 100%.
It can reduce the fear and anxiety that many people have about sex and helps put you in control of your HIV status.
PrEP protects you from HIV, but it does not prevent other STIs, or pregnancy. Condoms can reduce your risk of other STIs, but don’t eliminate this risk. STIs can also often show no symptoms. That’s why regular tests for STIs are an important way to control STIs in the community. Men (cis or trans) who have sex with men are recommended to test up to four times a year, and if you are a man who has sex with men and taking PrEP, you should get tested for STIs every 3 months. These regular STIs tests just become part of each visit to your doctor to get your PrEP scripts (usually every 3 months).
PrEP is not PEP. PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a month-long course of drugs to help prevent HIV that is taken after a possible exposure to HIV. If you think you might have been exposed to HIV or for more information about PEP, check out: www.getpep.info.