About PrEP | PrEP4You - I Want PrEP Now
About PrEP

About PrEP

PrEP is a pill you can take to protect you from HIV.


PrEP is a pill you can take to protect you from HIV.


PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. What does that actually mean?

Pre” is something you do before a risk of exposure” (in this case to HIV) and prophylaxis” is a treatment or action you can take to help prevent disease.


What is PrEP?

PrEP is a pill you can take to protect you from HIV. It is extremely effective when taken properly.

If you take PrEP correctly, you dont need to worry about a sexual partners HIV status.

Youre protecting your own HIV negative status by taking PrEP.

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis.


What the name PrEP means:

  • pre is something you do before a risk of exposure (in this case to HIV)
  • prophylaxis is a treatment or action you can take to help prevent disease.

PrEP is different from PEP.


What is PrEP?


What goes into PrEP

In the UK, one pill is approved for use as PrEP – the branded drug Truvada or its generic equivalent.

Generics contain the same ingredients as branded drugs and work in the same way.

Truvada and the generics contain two drugs:

  • Tenofovir Disoproxil TD
  • Emtricitabine FTC.

In the US a second pill has been approved for use as PrEP – the branded drug Descovy or its generic equivalent.

  • Tenofovir Alafenamide TAF
  • Emtricitabine FTC.


PrEP and STIs

PrEP only protects you against HIV.

You need to take other precautions to reduce your risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis and hepatitis C.

While taking PrEP you should test for STIs and HIV every three months.


STI vaccinations

Ask your sexual health or GUM clinic about vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and HPV. HPV is the virus that can cause some cancers in the throat and your lower parts (anogenital area).

PrEPster has created a fantastic information sheet on vaccinations.


Core benefits of PrEP

PrEP is a great idea for you if:

  • you are HIV negative, and
  • you have sex in a variety of situations where condoms are not easily used or not always used.

Our PrEP tool can help you find out if you should consider PrEP.

PrEP is a way to stay negative

PrEP can offer huge benefits if youre struggling to maintain your HIV negative status, for whatever reason.

We know its not always easy. And thats ok. PrEP offers another option.

It offers you empowerment and control, particularly if youre a receptive partner.


PrEP means you are protecting yourself

Being on PrEP means you dont have to worry about the status of your partner(s), because youre protecting yourself.

PrEP is a well-studied, evidence-based method of avoiding HIV transmission.


What the name PEP means

PrEP is different from PEP, which stands for post-exposure prophylaxis.

  • post is something you do after a risk of exposure, in this case to HIV
  • prophylaxis is a treatment or action you can take to help prevent disease.

So, you take PrEP before a risk of exposure; you take PEP after a risk of exposure

If you take PrEP you wont need to take PEP.

PEP (also called PEPSE) is a month-long course of HIV drugs taken after sex. It can stop the virus taking hold if you have been exposed. You need to start PEP within 72 hours (3 days), ideally within 24 hours. You can get PEP at a sexual health clinic or local A&E department so you can  still access it at weekends and bank holidays.

To access PEP you will need to answer some questions about the sex you have had and who you had sex with. Not all sex acts call for the use of PEP. If your sexual partner is living with HIV and is undetectable, you wont need PEP; if their HIV status is unknown, and they belong to a group with high rates of HIV, the doctor will consider putting you on PEP.


In the UK, groups considered to have high rates of HIV are:

  1. men who have sex with men
  2. people from Black African communities
  3. people from countries with high incidence of HIV:
  • Angola
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burundi
  • Cote dIvoire
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Congo
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe