What is PrEP?

PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is medicine people at risk for HIV take to prevent getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. PrEP can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body.

Currently, there are two FDA-approved daily oral medications for PrEP. A long-acting injectable form of PrEP has also been approved by the FDA.


PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV. PrEP reduces HIV risk from sex by 99% and from IV drug use by 74% when taken as prescribed.

PrEP won’t prevent STIs other than HIV, but routine screening for other STIs will happen while taking PrEP.

Is PrEP right for you?

PrEP may benefit you if you test negative for HIV and

  • you have had anal or vaginal sex in the past 6 months, and you:
  • have a sexual partner with HIV (especially if the partner has an unknown or detectable viral load),
  • have not consistently used a condom, or
  • have been diagnosed with an STD in the past 6 months.


  • you inject drugs and
  • have an injection partner with HIV, or
  • share needles, syringes, or other injection equipment.


  • you’ve been prescribed PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and you
    • report continued risk behavior or
    • have used multiple courses of PEP



Any doctor can prescribe PrEP! Find one using:

Use PrEP navigator to search clinics that offer PrEP near you:



Is PrEP safe?

PrEP is safe. No significant health effects have been seen in people who are HIV-negative and have taken PrEP for up to 5 years.

Some people taking PrEP may have side effects, like nausea, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, and stomach pain. These side effects are usually not serious and go away over time. If you are taking PrEP, tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.