PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. “It’s a way for people who are at higher risk for getting HIV to prevent infection before they come in contact with the virus,” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Mehri McKellar, MD, who directs the Duke PrEP clinic.
PrEP involves taking a pill every day. The pill combines two medications often used to treat HIV and is sold under the brand name Truvada. PrEP medication, when taken preventively, can keep the virus from taking hold in your body if you are exposed to it—for example, through unprotected sex or injection drug use.