What is PrEP and what does it do?
PrEP stand for Pre-exposure Prophylaxis. It is most commonly taken as a once-a-day-pill by someone who is HIV-negative. It’s a way of preventing HIV infection by taking a pill on an ongoing basis. Trials have shown that PrEP works best when it is taken regularly – this ensures that levels of the drug in the blood are high enough to be protective against HIV. Scientific evidence shows that, when taken consistently and correctly, PrEP reduces the chances of HIV infection to near-zero.
Getting on PrEP is easy and in some places offered for free. You will need to have a quick HIV and liver function test before being given PrEP by a health care professional.
It is important to remember that while PrEP works very well against HIV it does not protect against other STIs.
Most people who take PrEP don’t experience side effects. When people do get them they tend to be minimal or very mild. These usually go away on their own within a few weeks once the body has adjusted to it.