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Why PrEP Is So Important

Why PrEP Is So Important

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or better known as “PrEP,” in the form of a tablet that consists of two antiretroviral drugs — tenofovir and emtricitabine — has been determined to be an effective HIV prevention strategy, reducing the acquisition risk by 90-99% if taken as prescribed and is recommended for men who have sex with men (MSM), intravenous drug users (IDUs), transgender men and women, and heterosexual adults who are at high risk for HIV infection.

PrEP is the use of antiretroviral medication to prevent acquisition of HIV infection; it consists of one pill taken once a day, and is efficacious and easy to use. At present, the only medication with an FDA-approved indication for PrEP is oral tenofoviremtricitabine (TDF-FTC) which is available as a fixed-dose combination in a tablet called Truvada. Any licensed prescriber can prescribe PrEP. Primary care providers and settings should consider offering PrEP to patients at high-risk for HIV. PrEP is part of a comprehensive prevention plan that includes adherence and prevention counseling, HIV risk behavior counseling, HIV prevention education, and the provision of condoms.

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