What is PrEP?

Here's what you need to know.

“PrEP” stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. The word “prophylaxis” means to prevent or control the spread of an infection or disease. The goal of PrEP is to prevent HIV infection from taking hold if you are exposed to the virus. This is done by taking one pill every day. These are some of the same medicines used to keep the virus under control in people who are already living with HIV. PrEP is also called Truvada.

Why take PrEP?

With 50,000 new HIV infections each year in the United States, and no cure or vaccine available, prevention is key. When taken every day, PrEP can provide a high level of protection against HIV, and is even more effective when it is combined with condoms and other prevention tools. To talk with a counselor about why you may want to take PrEP, call 617-450-1987.

How well does PrEP work?

In several studies of PrEP, the risk of getting HIV infection was much lower—up to 92% lower—for those who took the medicines consistentlythan for those who didn’t take the medicines. To talk with a counselor about how well PrEP works, call 617-450-1987.

How can I get help to pay for PrEP?

PrEP is covered by most insurance programs, but if you do not have insurance, your health care provider can talk to you about medication assistance programs that help pay for PrEP medicine. To talk with a counselor about how you may be able to afford PrEP, call 617-450-1987.

How long do I need to take PrEP?

You should discuss this with your health care provider. There are several reasons that people stop taking PrEP. For example,