Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

What is PrEP?

The term Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) refers to an HIV prevention practice in which persons not infected with HIV who are at high risk of the disease take antiretroviral medication in an attempt to lower their chances of becoming infected if exposed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend PrEP for HIV-uninfected patients with any of the following indications:

  • Is in an ongoing relationship with an HIV-infected partner.
  • Is not in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-negative, and who is:
  • A gay or bisexual man who has had sex without a condom or been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection within the past six months.
  • A heterosexual man or woman who does not regularly use condoms when having sex with partners known to be at risk for HIV (for example, injecting drug users or bisexual male partners of unknown HIV status) or whose partners are from communities with high rates of HIV infection.
  • Has injected illicit drugs within the past six months and has shared equipment or been in drug treatment within the past six months.

It is recommended that providers tell all sexually active patients about PrEP and how it can protect them from getting HIV. Providers should prescribe PrEP to anyone who asks for it, including sexually active adults and adolescents who do not report behaviors that put them at risk for getting HIV.