- Pre = before.
- Exposure = coming into contact with HIV
- Prophylaxis = treatment to prevent an infection from happening
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an HIV prevention strategy where HIV-negative individuals take anti-HIV medications before coming into contact with HIV to reduce their risk of becoming infected. The medications work to prevent HIV from establishing infection inside the body.
PrEP has been shown to reduce risk of HIV infection through sex for gay and bisexual men, transgender women, and heterosexual men and women, as well as among people who inject drugs.
It does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections (STI) or pregnancy. It is not a cure for HIV.