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What is PrEP Medication? HIV PrEP Drugs

Any HIV-adjacent person would have heard about PrEP. But what exactly does PrEP mean? How does it prevent the infection?

PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is an oral medication you can use to prevent HIV infection. PrEP medication reduces your risk of getting HIV by up to 99% when taken as prescribed. It can also protect you from lifelong pain linked to the symptoms of HIV.

Taking PrEP for Hiv also means safer sex if you are a sexually active person. Due to the nature of transmission of HIV, those who have a risky sex life vulnerable to the virus. Aside from using a condom, PrEP is another layer of protection you can utilize.

Why Take PrEP Medication?

Are you still second-guessing whether to take PrEP? Here are some reasons why PrEP is highly encouraged, especially in fighting against HIV.

You may ask how does PrEP work?

PrEP works by stopping the virus from replicating in the body. It serves as a catalyst that helps the body produce antibodies. After exposure to the virus, PrEP medication blocks the enzyme the virus needs to replicate.

As mentioned, PrEP is effective in preventing HIV. However, this is only true when you take what your doctor exactly prescribes to you. Doing this assures you almost a hundred percent shield against HIV.

What Drugs are Approved for PrEP?

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Truvada and Descovy as certified PrEP medicine for preventive HIV treatment.

Truvada is for people at risk of HIV through sex or injection drug use. Descovy is also for sexually active individuals except for those who are female assigned at birth.

Since late 2021, Apertude has been the first and only long-acting shot approved for use as PrEP. It is mainly for people at risk through sex who weigh at least 77 pounds (35 kg).

Is PrEP Safe?

Yes, PrEP is generally safe. However, some people may experience common side effects like diarrhea, nausea, headache, fatigue, and stomach pain. These side effects usually go away in a few days. Consult your doctor if side effects persist. 

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